June 22, 2003
June 22, 2003
June 25, 2003
8.521.1 - 8.521.6
Enriching the Freshman Experience with Juniors
John Farris and Hugh Jack
Grand Valley State University
Design teams consisting of three first year students and three third year students were created to design and manufacture a device to meet the entrance requirements for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) student design contest. The first year students were enrolled in a course entitled “Introduction to Computer Aided Design and Manufacture” and the third year students were enrolled in a course entitled “Dynamic Systems Modeling and Control.” The authors conceived of this combined course design project to improve the quality of the design projects in both courses. Although the project was not completely successful in improving the quality of the design project other important, if not anticipated benefits were observed. This project created social and professional ties between juniors and freshmen that lead to a higher level of enthusiasm for the engineering program. It also provided the freshmen an opportunity to observe junior level students including work habits/organization, use of calculus and other fundamentals and writing. The freshmen also benefited by being mentored by the juniors. The juniors benefited by getting some 'management' experience and reducing the total time required to fabricate their designs.
The freshman year of our engineering program is mainly composed of non-engineering fundamental courses. In addition, our freshman year is offered on a campus separated from the engineering school. As a result there is a lack of contact between the freshman class and the engineering school in general. The faculty has observed some unfortunate effects of the separation. Some students lose interest because they spend a year or longer before they attend classes on the engineering campus. They also lose the benefit of associating with upper class students and seeing the activities they are involved in. This paper addresses an approach to overcoming this problem by having freshman and junior students work together on a design and build project. The project used was the ASME student design competition.
The project involved assigning teams of three freshmen to teams of three juniors. The juniors were responsible for the main design concept, mathematical analysis, the final construction and the overall performance. The freshmen worked with the team to identify one or more subsystems that they could design and build. In many cases this was a small wheeled cart. The freshmen were responsible for producing parts and drawings of their design.
Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education
Jack, H., & Farris, J. (2003, June), Enriching The Freshman Experience With Juniors Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12061
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