June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Design in Engineering Education
12.568.1 - 12.568.13
Engineering by Design: Teaching Non-Engineering Majors to Dream
In recognition of some of the challenges involved in teaching engineering to students whose academic leanings are away from math/science fields, ME450 was developed at the United States Military Academy (USMA) to provide an comprehensive, integrated engineering experience to students enrolled in humanities, social sciences, life science and other non- engineering degree programs. Lessons learned through the development and implementation of this course may be applicable to programs seeking to expand or develop minors in engineering or provide challenging and rewarding experiences in design-based courses to students who might otherwise be reluctant to explore this potentially demanding and work-intensive field.
“All people dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their mind wake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous people, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible.”1
—T. E. Lawrence
How do you teach students who do not want to be taught? The answer to the question is a critical one, particularly as universities begin to incorporate more broad-based core curricula into their academic programs in order to produce graduates equipped to meet the challenges of an increasingly technologically oriented world.2 The overarching goal of the United States Military Academy’s academic program is to enable its graduates to anticipate and respond effectively to the uncertainties of a changing technological, social, political, and economic world. To this end, graduates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in six key domains:
• Engineering and Technology • Math and Science • Information Technology • History • Culture • Human Behavior
Exposure to all of these domains provides students with a valuable appreciation for how each discipline deals with the gathering and processing of knowledge. While it is not uncommon to require engineering students to take basic courses in history, humanities and social sciences, the converse is not typically true. Because of this, Universities that recognize the need to expose undergraduate students to technology-based courses should anticipate challenges as these types of courses become graduation requirements for students who would otherwise choose not to take them.
Salinas, J., & Crawford, B., & Jones, T. (2007, June), Educating By Design: Teaching Non Engineering Majors To Dream Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2828
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