June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Minorities in Engineering
24.433.1 - 24.433.13
A Dialogue of Innovation: Did you come to See or did you come to Stay?AbstractThe Dialogue of Innovation was established and launched by the College of Engineering at___________________ University during Summer 2013 in Cameroon, Africa. This culturallyimmersive experience allowed _______________ University students to experience daily life ina traditional African village setting while creating sustainable solutions to real life challenges inthis developing country. Fourteen students enrolled in this initiative with 85% identified asmembers of underrepresented populations:. They consisted of majors from across the universityincluding: Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, ComputerEngineering, International Affairs, Human Services, Entrepreneurship and ManagementInformation Systems. Students participated in two academic courses, taught by__________________University lecturers and advisors who traveled abroad with the students.Courses included Engineering Discovery and Innovation and Business in Modern AfricanEconomy. In addition, _____________ University students worked with and collaborated with25 student counterparts from a local Cameroon university. Peer collaboration was a key featureto this program, because it allowed the students to understand local perspectives and involved thelocal stakeholders in the innovative solution development. In six weeks, students worked toidentify areas for development, and used a Human Centered Design (HCD) model that met threerequisite criteria for recommendations: (1) desirability, (2) feasibility and, (3)viability/sustainability. The students presented their final project proposals to various levels oflocal stakeholders, including community and government leaders. Moreover, the projectsresearched and presented by the students, resulted in an opportunity for the village council andarea government authorities to engage in securing a possible $1,000,000 USD (FCA 5.3Billion)largesse from the WorldBank, to fund community-driven projects and thereby implement manyof the innovative solutions proposed to address the areas of: water resources/health, renewableenergy, waste management, agricultural transformation, governance, community empowermentand engagement, education, and transportation.This program offered an opportunity for undergraduate engineering and non-engineeringstudents to understand engineering problem-solving from a social and culturally relevant context,and to be able to create a continuum for further entrepreneurial growth. Moreover, studentswere able to make direct connections between global initiatives, such as the United NationsMillenium Development Goals and the WorldBank strategic plans, to the work that they weredoing at the local level. Effectively, students were challenged to understand what it truly meantto think globally, and act locally.This paper will present the successes and challenges in launching a global experience forstudents that promotes entrepreneurship and innovation. This will be assessed through studentreflections and final projects. It will also discuss how cross-cultural exchange of experientiallearning can be incorporated into an engineering curriculum and has basis in Kolb’s LearningTheory.
Harris, R. R., & Machunis, L., & Tita, W. T. (2014, June), Dialogue of Innovation: Did You Come to See or Did You Come to Stay? Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20324
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