June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
26.422.1 - 26.422.24
Creativity, Innovation, and Ingenuity Summer Enrichment Program – Collaborating with a Cultural Institution and Assessment ResultsBased on extensive feedback from employers, two of the most highly sought skills ofengineering graduates are creativity and innovation. More specifically engineers should be ableto identify a customer need and use creative problem solving to develop newventures/products/solutions. Thus many engineering colleges are incorporating innovation andcreativity into the engineering curriculum. With an already packed engineering curriculum, thiscan be a difficult task, so techniques for learning innovation are often delivered piecemeal overmultiple courses. Consequently, teaching the processes of creative problem solving andinnovation becomes disjointed among multiple courses. Therefore, XXX University developedand administered a week-long summer enrichment program (i.e., summer camp) forundergraduate engineering students focused on progressively building from the foundations ofthe creative process/competencies to the application of innovative techniques coupled withengineering design and problem solving. The program was primarily available to students withina multi-institutional collaboration composed of 19 engineering colleges spanning the U.S.dedicated to instilling the entrepreneurial mindset into engineering education. Over threesummers, the camp engaged students from many institutions and from multiple engineeringdisciplines. While this summer enrichment program was hosted by the University, the programis facilitated in close partnership with The Henry Ford, a nationally renowned cultural, historical,and educational destination.Throughout the week, the students explored the core competencies of creativity and innovationthrough activities and games. In addition, the students studied and implemented variousmethodologies of creative problem solving through teamwork on various problems and productdevelopment projects/tasks. To further emphasize innovation (and its relation to Americanhistory), two of the five weekdays were spent visiting the Henry Ford which includes the HenryFord Museum, Greenfield Village, a Ford F-150 truck assembly plant, and the Benson FordResearch Center where they participated in a college-level version of the Henry Ford’sInnovation 101 curriculum.This paper will explain the objectives and format of the program, summarize the benefits ofcollaborating with a local cultural institution, explain how this program can be transferable toother universities, discuss sustainability of a multi-college summer immersive experience, andpresent assessment results from the three offerings. Two different assessments were performed.First, at the beginning and end of the week, a pre- and post-test was conducted to determine thestudents’ general perceptions of creativity, problem solving, teamwork, leadership, the role ofcreativity in engineering, and their personal view on their own creativity. A comparison of thepre- and post-program surveys yields a positive shift in student perceptions. A secondassessment administered to the students at the conclusion of the week gives an analysis of theeffectiveness of the program, the delivery techniques, and the format. These assessment resultsyielded increasingly positive results from year-to-year which ultimately allowed for the programto be optimized based on student needs.
Gerhart, A. L., & Carpenter, D. D., & Gangopadhyay, P. (2015, June), Creativity, Innovation, and Ingenuity Summer Enrichment Program – Collaborating with a Cultural Institution and Assessment Results Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23761
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