June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
First-year Programs Division Technical Session 8: Project-based Learning and Cornerstone Courses
26.510.1 - 26.510.20
Development and Implementation of a Long-Term Freshmen Service Project: The Design and Deployment of an Engineering Outreach Experience for Underserved PopulationsAbstractFreshmen year programs in engineering have received recent and growing attention as a methodto engage first year students in their profession and start them on a path to success. Servicelearning is a well-known pedagogical method that has been shown to improve retentionespecially of underrepresented groups in engineering and promote deeper learning throughreflection. This paper describes the implementation of a new long-term (full year) servicelearning project where 240 freshmen mechanical engineering students worked together in smallteams to design and deploy an engineering outreach experience for a designated age-group of 4th-11th grade students. This educational experience is designed to expose the freshmen engineeringstudents to a variety of concepts and skills necessary for successful negotiation of theirengineering careers. The project forces the freshmen to challenge their assumptions andconceptions of what an engineer is and does. Other knowledge and skills include understandingand using the engineering design process, effectively working on engineering teams, effectivelycommunicating, planning and making decisions all while solving an open-ended problem. Theexperience also asks the freshmen to consider diverse perspectives as they design for the targetedpopulations. The paper describes the project implementation and presents results from studentreflections and from a survey a survey tool. Lessons learned and recommendations for bestpractices will also be presented.
Widmann, J. M., & Self, B. P., & Schuster, P. (2015, June), Development and Implementation of a Long-term Freshmen Service Project: The Design and Deployment of an Engineering Outreach Experience for Underserved Populations Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23848
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