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Engineering Grand Challenges Video Competition - A Project Learning Tool in a Cross-disciplinary Class

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Outreach and Early Transdisciplinary Courses

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Pramod Rajan Laboratory for Innovative Technology & Engineering Education (LITEE)

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Dr. P. Rajan got his Bachelors in Mechatronics Engineering from Bharathiar University, India in 2004 and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Auburn University in 2013. He has worked with the Laboratory for Innovative Technology and Engineering Education (LITEE) at Auburn University for 10 years. His research focuses on development and testing of innovative instructional materials like case studies, smart scenarios and serious games to improve student learning in engineering classes. He is currently a Post Doctoral Research Associate in the Mechanical Engineering department at Auburn University. He currently teaches at Auburn and Faulkner Universities.

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P.K. Raju Auburn University

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Dr. P. K. Raju is the Thomas Walter Distinguished professor of Mechanical Engineering at Auburn University. He is the co-founder and director of the NSF-funded Laboratory for Innovative Technology and Engineering Education (LITEE). LITEE has been recently recognized by the National Academy of Engineering as one of the model programs in the country that has successfully infused real world experiences into engineering undergraduate education. He is also the founder and director of the Auburn Engineering Technical Assistance Program (AETAP). Prior to coming to Auburn in 1984, Dr. Raju held faculty positions in several universities in India and visiting positions at the Catholic University of America, Purdue University, and the Technical University of Berlin. Dr. Raju received his Ph.D. from the Indian institute of Technology, Madras, in 1977. He has made significant research contributions in engineering education and innovations, acoustics, noise control, nondestructive evaluation and technology transfer, resulting in award-winning and significant breakthroughs. He has received a total of $12 million in funding, including grants from industries, the United Nations, the National Science Foundation, NIST, NIH, EDA and other U.S. and international agencies. He has published 24 books, eight book chapters and 200 papers in journals and conference proceedings. He has received several awards for his teaching, research and outreach work from INEER, NASA, NSF, ASME, ASEE, Auburn University and others. He served as an United Nations and UNDP expert and as a World Bank lecturer. He has held Invited Professorships at the Université Bordeaux I, Talence, and Université Du Havre, Le Harve, France. He has been an invited/ keynote speaker at several national and international conferences. He is a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education, a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers (India), and a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of India. He is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of STEM Education: Innovations and Research

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In 2007, the NAE began working with a marketing company to rebrand engineering and better communicate the importance of engineering to the public and potential future engineers. The resulting messages were 1) Engineers are creative problem solvers, 2) Engineers make a world of difference, 3) Engineering is essential to our health, happiness, and safety, and 4) Engineers help shape the future. In 2008, the NAE launched the Engineering Grand Challenges website

The fourteen grand challenges highlight key challenges facing modern society that reinforce the engineering messages of how engineers and their creative problem solving skills are essential to improving our world and shaping the future. The NAE kicked off its Engineering for You Too (E4U2) national video competition in order to highlight how engineering will create a more sustainable, healthy, secure and/or joyous world by addressing the NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering. The E4U2 project was a six week project assigned to the students in the multidisciplinary class at a large south eastern university. The goals of the project were 1) To create awareness about the NAE grand challenges among the future engineering and business students and 2) To explore the feasible solutions for the chosen grand challenges and put it in simple way that a general audience can also understand the technology behind these potential solutions. The students were divided in six teams (4-5 students in each team) to make six 2-minute educational videos. Each team was divided based on the DiSC personality assessment test and had a good mix of engineering and business students. The project involved aspects like researching potential solutions for the grand challenges, storytelling, script writing, and video production, editing and marketing. The project was reviewed and evaluated every two weeks and feedback was given on the videos by professional video creators and educators. The following topics were chosen by the teams to develop videos 1. Make Solar Energy Economical 2. Advanced Personalized Learning 3. Provide Energy from Fusion 4. Provide Access to Clean Water 5. Restore and Improve Urban Infrastructure Three teams made it to the final stage of the competition. Qualitative feedback was taken and the students liked this project as it was different from the regular class project and received very positive and encouraging reviews. This paper will review the process of implementation and evaluation of this video project in a multidisciplinary setting. The results of the content analysis will also be discussed in the paper.

Rajan, P., & Raju, P. (2016, June), Engineering Grand Challenges Video Competition - A Project Learning Tool in a Cross-disciplinary Class Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26650

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