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Engagement in Practice: Practicing Empathy in Engineering for the Community Course

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Community Engagement Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

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Paper Authors


Malinda S Zarske University of Colorado, Boulder

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Malinda Zarske is a faculty member with the Engineering Plus program at the University of Colorado Boulder. She teaches undergraduate product design and core courses through Engineering Plus as well as STEM education courses for pre-service teachers through the CU Teach Engineering program. Her primary research interests include the impacts of project-based service-learning on student identity - especially women and nontraditional demographic groups in engineering - as well as pathways and retention to and through K-12 and undergraduate engineering, teacher education, and curriculum development. She is passionate about hands-on engineering design for every student, at every age level.

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Michael A Soltys University of Colorado, Boulder Orcid 16x16

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Mike Soltys is an Instructor for the Engineering Plus degree program at at the University of Colorado. Mike is passionate about engineering education, and teaches engineering design in First-Year Engineering Projects (GEEN 1400), Engineering Projects for the Community (GEEN 2400), Statics (GEEN 3851), Thermodynamics (GEEN 3852) and Theoretical Fluid Mechanics (CVEN 3313).

Mike is the co-PI for TeachEngineering, a curricular digital library with the goal of democratizing engineering by project to providing free, standards-aligned, hands-on engineering curricula for K-12 STEM teachers.

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Jennifer Kracha University of Colorado Boulder

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This Engagement in Practice paper describes the course sequence of a service-based engineering projects course that focuses on humanitarian projects for local clients. The course successfully incorporates both technical skills and professional skills goals, including building a set of hands-on engineering skills for prototyping and manufacturing and understanding the role of analysis in the design process as well as learning and practicing effective teamwork skills and understanding the importance of an ethical code for the practice of engineering. The authors reveal specific examples of client projects, lessons on how to pair students with clients, lessons learned after several offerings of the course, transferability to other settings, and opportunities for future improvements to the course. This course description adds to the growing base of available offerings for service-based, active learning courses.

Zarske, M. S., & Soltys, M. A., & Kracha, J. (2020, June), Engagement in Practice: Practicing Empathy in Engineering for the Community Course Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34537

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