Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Community Engagement Division
Real world problem solving is a desired skill of both engineering employers and engineering educators. Research has suggested that using problem based service learning in engineering is a great avenue to teach this skill. As a result, while developing curriculum for a new engineering program, faculty desired to integrate service learning as a component of the curriculum.
Beginning with a small cohort of students, a course was designed and implemented with a focus on project based service learning. In the course, faculty desired for students to work as teams to provide solutions for clients. For each project a community liaison serves as the project client, develops a problem statement, and meets with students for a kick off meeting, 50% design review, and final project handoff. Faculty had to stray outside of normal engineering circles (education and occupational therapy) to find clients, but have been able to actively work with partners who have returned and also have benefited the engineering program as well.
The project based service learning course is still in its infancy (we have completed year two), but has already helped engineering students develop real world problem solving skills while also improving the lives of hundreds of K-12 students. In this paper we will share lessons we have learned (both the successes and the failures).Specifically we will discuss soliciting, developing and maintaining relationships with community partners while also developing the course in our city to provide a unique learning opportunity for students in order to help other new engineering programs or service learning courses and our future plans of growing the course.
Kennedy, T. J., & Houghtalen, L. M. (2018, June), Engagement in Practice: Lessons Learned While Developing Community Partners (and a New Engineering Program) for Service Learning Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30388
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