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Developing STEM-preneur through Engineering Innovation Hands-on Projects

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Curricular Innovations in College-Industry Partnerships

Tagged Division

College Industry Partnerships

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.437.1 - 25.437.7



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Paper Authors


Kai Jin Texas A&M University, Kingsville

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Kai Jin is an Associate Professor and Interim Chair in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department at Texas A&M University, Kingsville. Her current research interests include STEM education, green product and sustainable manufacturing, life cycle assessment, decision-making support systems, and sustainability assessment. This paper is based on her funded project from HP STEM catalyst initiative.

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Hua Li Texas A&M University, Kingsville Orcid 16x16

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Hua Li is an Assistant Professor in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department at Texas A&M University, Kingsville. His research interests are wind energy, sustainable manufacturing, and engineering education.

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Stephan J. Nix Texas A&M University, Kingsville

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Developing STEM-preneur through Engineering Innovation Hands-on ProjectsResearch in engineering education over the past 15 years has shown that the interest in pursuingundergraduate degrees in engineering has declined amongst graduating high school students. Italso revealed that only half of the students entering U.S. universities as engineering majorsactually complete all degree requirements. It has also been noted that many students made theirdecision to leave an engineering major within the first two years, the period during which theyare taking engineering prerequisites and before taking any (or many) engineering courses. One ofthe potential reasons for this situation is that students in their first two years are given littleexposure to the many possibilities that an engineering career can offer, while they are takingmath and science courses taught outside of engineering departments. It suggests that fewstudents-even those who have had some prior exposure to engineering-know what engineers do,and this affects their commitment to the engineering major. As a result, programs that exposestudents to engineering experiences and/or projects early in their college studies might have agreater chance of both enticing students to persist and interesting them in specific sub-fields ofengineering.In the paper, the authors will present a project that is motivated to explore how to improveSTEM learning outcomes and retention of engineering majors by introducing hand-on projects,which combining STEM learning with entrepreneurship, into the freshman engineeringcurriculum (MEEN 1310-Computer Based Graphics and Design I). This project is supported byHP Catalyst Initiative to develop a new STEM-preneur learning environment throughengineering innovation hands-on projects by using HP’s technology. The new STEM-preneurlearning modules will help students understand STEM concepts and improve entrepreneurialthinking through hands-on experiences. This curriculum innovation will also give the studentsthe opportunities to work on the real life hands-on projects at an Innovation Lab that serves as aconnection between college and local industries. A specific evaluation plan is designed toaddress progress, achievement, and impact of the project objectives and overall goals. [1] McCain, Janice, Lorraine Fleming, Dawn Williams, and Kimarie Engerman. 2007. The Roleof Doggedness in the Completion of an Undergraduate Engineering Degree. In Proceedings ofthe American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, June24-27, 2007.[2] Lichtenstein, Gary, Heidi G. Loshbaugh, Brittany Claar, Tori Bailey, and Sheri Sheppard.2007. Should I Stay or Should I Go? Engineering Students? Persistence is Based on LittleExperience or Data. In Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education AnnualConference, Honolulu, Hawaii, June 24-27, 2007.

Jin, K., & Li, H., & Nix, S. J. (2012, June), Developing STEM-preneur through Engineering Innovation Hands-on Projects Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21195

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