Columbus , Ohio
June 28, 2017
June 28, 2017
June 28, 2017
Main Forum (Podium Presentation)
Cross border collaborative learning through Capstone Engineering Projects
The University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) located in the southmost border, Texas-Mexico, is a vast region containing distinctive geographical, cultural, economic and environmental elements, which altogether create a unique area that requires specific strategies to manage the solutions to the problems that arise from the undergoing globalization process.
The importance of these elements has created a need for a continuous improvement of the higher education mechanism in the zone. One of the most important needs of our community is cross cultural, educational opportunities that will enable them to find better job opportunities in the region.
As a minority serving institution, UTRGV aims to provide the students with the tools and skills required to solve the problems of the community, by preparing them to join the workforce with a strong basic and applied research background. The College of Engineering at UTRGV has set its goals to provide coursework that will lead to research with an international impact.
The opportunities to learn industrial practices through internships, undergraduate research, and the experiences of the faculty members, provide the students with practical engineering skills to address the current engineering and technological challenges through “out of the box” innovative solutions.
The Engineering Technology program at UTRGV offers a wide range of options in which the students will develop these skills. At the end of their coursework, they must complete an industry-related, research-based capstone project, which in specific cases involve the design and development of a functional prototype.
The Capstone project is offered in a two course sequence of Senior Project I and II. In Senior Project I, students use their time to identify an engineering problem and proceed to develop an optimum solution. At this stage, they also conduct a thorough research on the topic and complete planning and design of the project. The subsequent Senior Project II is used to build and test the functional prototype. These capstone courses, are planned for the students to develop a year-long project, that will provide them an opportunity to apply the skills that they have learned and developed through the program coursework.
A successful example of a cross border capstone design project in the Engineering Technology program at UTRGV is presented in this paper. The capstone project is to design and manufacture a functional, real-scale prototype of an “Intelligent Closet”. The methods used, technology developed and the lessons learned in this project are discussed in the paper. This includes the impact of this project in enhancing the educational outcome of the program.
Edinbarough, I., & Olvera, A. (2017, June), Cross border collaborative learning through Capstone Engineering Projects Paper presented at 2017 ASEE International Forum, Columbus , Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/29280
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