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Developing Cognitive Innovation Skills through a Problem Solving Approach in Science and Technology to Develop Solution Entrepreneurs

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

The Nature of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Session 4

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.393.1 - 24.393.13



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Paper Authors


James L. Barnes James Madison University

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Dr. Barnes oversees all proposal development and research design. He coordinates all needs assessment and benchmarking studies. He leads BTILLC’s Readiness and Emergency Management activities. He is certified in National Incident Management Systems (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS) courses, Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED), Crisis Management and is very familiar with NIMS standards and protocol: (1) National Incident Management Systems, An Introduction; (2) National Response Plan, An Introduction; (3) Introduction to the Incident Command System; (4) ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Response; and (5) Intermediate Incident Command Systems. As Director of Research and Business Development, Dr. Barnes oversees all proposal development and research design. He coordinates all needs assessment and benchmarking studies. Dr. Barnes is the former Assistant Economic Development Director for Technology for the City of Harrisonburg, and is currently Professor of Integrated Science and Technology at James Madison University. He has worked in the science and technology field for over thirty-five years. Dr. Barnes is also a co-principal of Barnes Technologies International LLC. Prior to joining the faculty at James Madison University, Dr. Barnes was the Director of NASA RISE, a NASA research institute at Eastern Michigan University. Dr. Barnes has also directed a technology research center at The University of Texas at Austin and has served as President and CEO of two technology research companies. Dr. Barnes earned his baccalaureate and doctorate degrees at Virginia Tech and his masters at Virginia State University. Dr. Barnes has conducted many research projects, published numerous articles, and has authored several books in his research areas of Innovation, Problem Solving and Sustainability. His current research examines how understanding systems and their interaction influence solving complex global problems.

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Susan Kubic Barnes James Madison University

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Dr. Susan Barnes has over twenty years of experience in education, assessment, and evaluation. She is an assistant professor in the College of Education at James Madison University, where she serves as an educational program coordinator, University Honors Program Liaison, and Faculty Liaison for Augusta County Public Schools. She taught preschool and elementary education in both public and private schools. Dr. Barnes has served as a third-party evaluator for numerous projects funded by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education, including the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) grant for Purdue University, No Child Left Behind Improving Teacher Quality grants (Title I I) for James Madison University and Mary Baldwin College, and the Children’s Bureau Regional Partnership Grant. Other program evaluation projects include Ford Motor Company’s targeted technology training programs, Federal Administration for Children and Families Early Learning Opportunity Act (ELOA) grant, and the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation Partnership Grants. She has been a recurrent presenter at ASEE and has presented at the Accepting the STEM Challenge Conference in Atlanta. Dr. Barnes has an earned Master’s degree in Educational Studies from The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and a Ph.D. in Assessment and Measurement from James Madison University in Virginia.

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Michael J. Dyrenfurth Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Developing Cognitive Innovation Skills through a Problem Solving Approach in Science and TechnologyThe purpose of this paper is to describe a critical thinking/problem-solving course in science andtechnology taken during the undergraduate honors general education experience by science,technology, and engineering students and further applied during their academic major programof study. First, the authors provide examples of how critical thinking/problem-solving skills areapplied to study complex global sustainability problems during the undergraduate generaleducation experience. Then they provide examples of how students apply these skills duringtheir major course work, including the Honors Thesis. During the first half of the course,students engage in a variety of critical thinking learning experiences that teach them how to:develop analysis mapping for making decisions; use design heuristics; utilize comparative,ideological, deductive, and inductive reasoning; and understand the relationship betweenscientific inquiry and problem solving. During the second half of the course, students work inteams to apply these critical thinking skills to a complex global sustainability problem,investigating how a problem becomes a problem and exploring current solutions and projectedfuture solutions. Finally, the authors provide relevant examples of how students apply thesecognitive innovation skills within their academic major as they further develop their science,technology, and engineering knowledge. The culminating Honors Thesis is an extension of theirinitial inquiry of the complex global sustainability problem they studied during their generaleducation course.

Barnes, J. L., & Barnes, S. K., & Dyrenfurth, M. J. (2014, June), Developing Cognitive Innovation Skills through a Problem Solving Approach in Science and Technology to Develop Solution Entrepreneurs Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20284

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