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Engineering and Science Modeling Course: Students Explore Engineering and Sciences

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

First-year Programs: Focus on Student Success 2

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

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Paper Authors


Genaro Zavala Tecnologico de Monterrey; Universidad Andres Bello Orcid 16x16

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Genaro Zavala is a Full Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the School of Engineering and Sciences at Tecnologico de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico. He collaborates with the Faculty of Engineering of the Universidad Andres Bello in Santiago, Chile. Professor Zavala is National Researcher Level 2 of the National System of Researchers of Mexico. He works with the following research lines: conceptual understanding, active learning, development of assessment tools, faculty development and studies in STEM. Genaro Zavala was appointed to the editorial board of the Physical Review Special Topics-Physics Education Research journal of the American Physical Society for the period 2015 to 2018, vice president of the Latin American Physics Education Network (LAPEN) for the period 2013-2015 and is currently the coordinator of the Topical Group: Evaluation of Learning and Instruction of the International Group for Research and Teaching of Physics (GIREP by its French acronym). Dr. Zavala is a member of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) where he was vice president candidate, a member of the Committee on Research in Physics Education (RIPE) a member and chair of the International Education Committee and elected member of Leadership Organizing Physics Education Research Council (PERLOC) in the period 2015-2018.

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Esmeralda Campos Tecnologico de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Esmeralda Campos is a postdoc researcher at Writing Lab at Tecnologico de Monterrey, and she has taught undergraduate physics courses at the School of Engineering and Sciences. She obtained her bachelor degree in Engineering Physics at Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico. She studied a Master degree in Education, with a specialization in Science teaching and learning, and moved forward to the PhD in Educational Innovation, both at Tecnologico de Monterrey. She has focused her research in conceptual understanding of university students about abstract physical concepts, specifically in the introductory and upper-division electromagnetism courses. She has published five peer-reviewed articles in high-impact journals indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus, and one peer-reviewed book chapter. She has participated in several international educational research conferences, resulting in five conference proceedings indexed in Web of Science. In 2018, she participated in the local organizing committee for the conference of the International Research Group on Physics Teaching (GIREP, from its name in French) in San Sebastian, Spain. She was also part of the organizing committee of the annual meeting of the Mexican chapter of the American Association of Physics Teachers in 2018. She has participated in projects with a common interest in gender studies in STEM education.

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Carlos Eduardo Martinez-Torteya Tecnologico de Monterrey

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Carlos Martinez-Torteya is the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Programs at the School of Engineering and Sciences at Tecnologico de Monterrey, where he teaches undergraduate Physics ranging from freshmen courses to upper-level electives in Particle Physics and General Relativity. Carlos holds a B.Sc. in Physics Engineering from Tecnologico de Monterrey, and a M.A. in Physics from SUNY Stony Brook, where he focused in Theoretical Particle Physics. Currently, his research interests are in Physics Education.

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This contribution is an Evidence-based practice paper. Our institution, a private multi-campus Mexican university, is changing its educational model from traditional lecture instruction to challenge-based learning that emphasizes the development of specific competencies. Entering the School of Engineering and Sciences, students take the Engineering and Science Modeling course to introduce students to the university and its educational model by exploring four avenues: Bioengineering and Chemical Process, Innovation and Transformation, Computer Science and Information Technologies, and Applied Sciences. In this contribution, we report an overview of student satisfaction toward achieving the course's specific objectives, the students' perception of the importance of each avenue, and their perceptions of difficulty and time demands. We surveyed 1,499 students enrolled in programs in all four avenues of the School of Engineering and Sciences after completing the introductory course. The overall results of the survey showed a high level of student satisfaction. The students perceived that the course effectively conveyed the avenue contents and how the educational model works to develop and assess competencies. They valued having explored the different avenues of the school. The results also highlighted areas to improve to save students time in implemented activities. The latter could be due to the course's implementation during the COVID-19 pandemic, i.e., through synchronous distance education. Finally, the course also helped students reflect on their degree choices by making them solve problems they would not have faced if they did not take the course.

Zavala, G., & Campos, E., & Martinez-Torteya, C. E. (2021, July), Engineering and Science Modeling Course: Students Explore Engineering and Sciences Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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