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Engaging Freshman in Team Based Engineering Projects

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Conference

2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

FPD II: Hands-on Curriculum in the First Year

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count

18

Page Numbers

25.530.1 - 25.530.18

DOI

10.18260/1-2--21288

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/21288

Download Count

139

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Paper Authors

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Lacey Jane Bodnar Texas A&M University

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Lacey Bodnar is a master's of engineering student in water resources engineering at Texas A&M University. Her undergraduate degree was from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln in 2010. She currently works for the Engineering Student Services and Academic Programs Office and is pleased to be involved in managing exciting freshman engineering projects.

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Magdalini Z. Lagoudas Texas A&M University

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Jacqueline Q. Hodge Texas A&M University

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Jacqueline Hodge is a native of Giddings, Texas and currently the Project Manager for the Engineering Student Services & Academic Programs Office (ESSAP) at Texas A&M University (TAMU). She graduated from TAMU with a bachelor's of science degree in mechanical engineering. While obtaining her degree, Hodge was involved with several community service activities such as the Boys & Girls Club of Bryan, Help One Student To Succeed (HOSTS), and Habitat for Humanity. Upon graduation with her bachelor's degree, she began work with International Paper Company and became active with the local College Bound Academy as an instructor. While employed with International Paper, Jacqueline obtained her M.S.B..A from TAMU, Texarkana. After seven years of service in July 2004, she decided to resign her post at International Paper to pursue a master's degree in mechanical engineering at TAMU, College Station. In Fall 2005, Hodge accepted a full-time position with the ESSAP Office and completed her master's degree in mechanical engineering in May 2006. In her current position, Hodge is responsible for retention and enrichment programs for engineering students. Finally, Hodge continues to be committed to education and her community. She is the President for the Poplar Circle Neighborhood Association, member of the BVAA Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and a former board member of Habitat for Humanity.

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Travis Austin Smith Engineering Student Services and Academic Programs

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Travis Smith is an undergraduate nuclear engineering major from Houston, Texas. He is the Engineering Mentor for the TSGC and Children's Museum team. He is intrigued by confusing and hard to understand concepts which helps drive him to discover new ideas. He wants to work with the new AP 1000 Westinghouse reactors and work abroad. He also plans on following a research path devoted to inherently safe, small nuclear power plants for neighborhoods and business parks.

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Jesus A. Orozco

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Joshua Grant Corso

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Cristian R. Sanchez

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Jillian Kathleen Freise Texas A&M ELLC Children's Museum

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Jillian Freise is a mechanical engineering major from Houston. She is a member of the Brazos Valley Children’s Museum team. On the team, she contributes ideas for the design of the water table museum exhibit. Freise aspires to be an engineer because she loves to find solutions to challenging problems that make a difference in the world. She hopes to develop humanoid robots for a variety of applications.

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Hannah Ringler Texas A&M University

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Hannah Ringler is a freshman aerospace engineering major at Texas A&M University from San Antonio, Texas. She is currently working with a team on a freshmen engineering design challenge through NASA and the Texas Space Grant Consortium entitled “ISS Coffee System Adaptor.” Ringler hopes to be an engineer because she enjoys designing and creatively solving problems. As well, she has long had an interest in the air and space industry. In the future, she would like to play a part in developing new military-related aircraft.

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Ivan Cortes Texas A&M University

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Ivan Cortes is a mechanical engineering student from Harker Heights, Texas. Some areas of interest to him are the automotive industry and product design, but ultimately he simply enjoys the challenge of solving problems and innovating through the use of technology. One of Cortes's long-term goals is to travel abroad and gain international experience. Through involvement in programs offered at Texas A&M University, he sees an opportunity to learn by solving real problems through teamwork and collaboration.

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Abstract

Engaging Freshman in Team Based Engineering ProjectsResearch demonstrates that early involvement in engineering projects during a student’sfreshman year increases his / her interest, excitement, and retention in engineering. To meet theneed for retaining engineering students, this large public university initiated a team basedFreshman Engineering Project Program, in collaboration with community sponsors.For the 2011-12 programs, the three project sponsors are 1) NASA and the State Space GrantConsortium, 2) The City Public Works Department, and 3) the City Children’s Museum. Thesepartners have a genuine need for student’s ideas and insights, and the young aspiring engineersare working on hands-on engineering design projects. Research shows that establishing theseprofessional interactions positively influences student’s retention in engineering fields.The project teams are composed of five students, with the exception of one team of four students.The students represent a diverse array of engineering backgrounds; there are at least threedifferent majors present in each team. The projects are administered on a voluntary basis.Students successfully meeting the program requirements at the end of each semester receive acash incentive of $100.00. The freshman engineering projects at this University differ frommany other national programs (e.g. EPICS) in that students do not receive course credit. Rather,the selling points of the projects for students include gaining valuable experience involvingengineering design, processional engineering groups, and team-based problem solving.Groups are lead by a Team Leader, who is elected among the freshman members. Technicalguidance is provided by the Engineering Mentor and Project Sponsors. Engineering mentors areupper class or graduate level engineering students who exhibit leadership qualities in engineeringeducation. Project Sponsors are practicing, professional engineers, who assist teams with designand development.Freshman students are instructed on the use of computer software for engineering design andproblem solving. Software applications include the use of Solid Works for modeling anInternational Space Station coffee adaptor system, ARC GIS for cost analysis of the Cityrecycling program, and Auto CAD design of a municipal Green Building. The deliverables ofthe projects include 1) a final report for the Project Sponsor, complete with engineering designs,2) a professional presentation to the Sponsor at the end of each semester, and 3) a built prototypeof the project design, if applicable.The effects of the Freshman Engineering Projects on first-year education and retention will beassessed at the end of the spring semester, 2012. Online surveys will be administered to all 29students, pending IRB approval. Five focus groups, one for each team, will also be used toassess the impact of the program. A final report on program results and lessons learned will beshared with the ASEE First-year Programs Division, to share with the engineering educationcommunity both challenges and lessons learned with this unique approach.

Bodnar, L. J., & Lagoudas, M. Z., & Hodge, J. Q., & Smith, T. A., & Orozco, J. A., & Corso, J. G., & Sanchez, C. R., & Freise, J. K., & Ringler, H., & Cortes, I. (2012, June), Engaging Freshman in Team Based Engineering Projects Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21288

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