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Designing Across The Curriculum: Linking Sophomores To Mechanical Engineering

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.193.1 - 3.193.11



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Paper Authors

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S. A. Tennyson

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R. J. Eggert

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D. Bunnell

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


Designing Across the Curriculum: Linking Sophomores to Mechanical Engineering

R. Eggert, D. Bunnell, and S. Tennyson Boise State University Boise, Idaho 83725

Abstract The sophomore year in traditional engineering programs rarely includes formal course work in engineering design. Considering the broader philosophy of Design Across the Curriculum (DAC), the sophomore year, however, can be used to reinforce meaningful design activities experienced as a freshman, and to prepare students for upper level design course work and eventual practice.

In preparing its curriculum, as a newly chartered program in Idaho, the Mechanical Engineering faculty at Boise State University has incorporated a three credit hour course entitled Mechanical Engineering Design in the sophomore year. Blending considerations of design theory, design methods, design automation, materials & manufacturing, the faculty team has prepared and has executed the 16 week curriculum during the 1997 spring semester.

This paper describes course details including: objectives, topics covered, team teaching ap- proach, weekly class format, prerequisites, activities pursued, student grading, infrastructure, resources, faculty team planning, outcomes assessment techniques and results.

1.0 Design Across the Curriculum BSU’s ME program was recently chartered by the state of Idaho (1995). During the Spring of 1996 the faculty designed the 131 semester credit hour, four year curriculum. A variety of considerations included the proportion of courses in mathematics, sciences, humanities, arts, and social sciences. The existing and future demand for engineers in Boise, Southwest Idaho, and the Northwest region was deliberated as well as the quality of education to be delivered.

While ABET specifies minimum criteria for four year engineering programs, it is the desire of Mechanical Engineering faculty to meet and exceed these requirements. Namely, to develop & deliver appropriate, high quality and comprehensive course work and at the same time, exceed the minimum requirements for ABET accreditation.

Design, being central to the practice of engineering, was given significant consideration, especially how to integrate design across the curriculum (DAC). The essence of DAC is somewhat captured in the following phrase: “...Design cannot be taught in one course; it is an experience that must grow with the student’s development.” (1996/97 Criteria for Accrediting Programs in Engineering in the United States, section IV.C.3.d.(3)(d), ABET, Inc.)

A draft policy on Design Across the Curriculum was prepared and distributed to the faculty in August 1996. A revised draft, specific to the ME program, is currently under review for

Tennyson, S. A., & Eggert, R. J., & Bunnell, D. (1998, June), Designing Across The Curriculum: Linking Sophomores To Mechanical Engineering Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--7024

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