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First Year Engineering Student Success Enhancement Through the Support of Undergraduate Teaching Assistants

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Conference

2020 First-Year Engineering Experience

Location

East Lansing, Michigan

Publication Date

July 26, 2020

Start Date

July 26, 2020

End Date

July 28, 2020

Page Count

7

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/35761

Download Count

22

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Paper Authors

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McKayla Kleinschrodt

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James Lenn Wayne State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-1696-0914

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James Lenn has been at Wayne State University since 2013, first as part time faculty and more recently as a Lecturer. He teaches a freshman design course and several electrical engineering courses. Prior to taking a position at WSU, he had worked in industry as an engineer and engineering manager for roughly 30 years.

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Marcis Jansons P.E. Wayne State University

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Marcis Jansons, Ph.D., P.E.
Marcis Jansons has been on the faculty of Wayne State University’s College of Engineering since 2008, researching topics in advanced engine combustion and optical diagnostics at the University’s Center for Automotive Research (CAR). As an Associate Professor of the Mechanical Engineering Department, he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on combustion engines, fluid mechanics and emissions formation processes. Prior to joining Wayne State, he has worked for the energy industry as an environmental engineer addressing air, soil and groundwater contamination; and served as an instructor of Mechanical Engineering at the United States Coast Guard Academy. Jansons holds B.S. (1990), M.S. (1992) and Ph.D. (2005) degrees in Mechanical Engineering, earning his doctorate from Rutgers University for his work on combustion diagnostics and infrared imaging. He is a registered Professional Engineer (P.E.). Jansons has authored over forty peer-reviewed, engine-related publications, and is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and on the Board of Associates of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Internal Combustion Engine Division (ICED). He is a 2012 recipient of SAE’s Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award, conferred in recognition of significant contributions to teaching, research and student development and a 2015-16 Fulbright Scholar. Jansons has twenty years’ experience working with optical engines, and leads a research group of qualified and experienced graduate students. Jansons serves as the Director of Early Engineering Programs, administering the core group of STEM courses common to the various engineering academic programs.

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Jeffrey Potoff Wayne State University

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Dr. Jeffrey Potoff is a Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, and the Associate Dean for Academic for the College of Engineering at Wayne State University. Potoff received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University in 1999, and his BS in Chemical Engineering in 1994 from Michigan State University. Prof. Potoff is interested on improving the engagement of engineering students in their coursework through the implementation of evidenced-based teaching practices.

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Abstract

This informational paper describes an approach to utilizing undergraduate teaching assistants (UGTAs) in addressing challenges posed by using Computer Aided Design (CAD) and three-dimensional (3D) printing in a hands-on, first year engineering design class. At Wayne State University, we began using CAD and 3D printing tools to introduce design principles to first-year engineering students in the fall 2017 semester. This was prompted by the desire to involve students with CAD at an earlier stage of their academic careers. Assisting in instructing these principles, UGTAs provide hands-on support for students both during and outside of class and contribute significantly to the operation and maintenance of the 3D printing lab. Near the beginning of the semester, in-class support is focused on helping students during lectures. Near the middle of the semester, their in-class focus becomes more of a project management role as class activities transition to final project design and development. As project managers, each UGTA is responsible for two or three teams and provides guidance with navigating through engineering challenges that may arise. Outside of class, office hours are provided at least once per day by the UGTAs where students can receive help on assignments or other questions related to this course. In addition to providing direct support to students, UGTAs carry the bulk of the load in ensuring designed parts are 3D printed and provided to students with minimum latency. In addition to reviewing component suitability for printing and starting new print jobs, the performance of routine maintenance is primarily performed by the UGTAs. Lab support during the project assembly phase and training in-coming UGTAs are also tasks performed by the UGTAs. This paper will provide an overview of our approach to incorporating the efforts of undergraduate teaching assistants into a first-year engineering design class to assist other institutions with integrating that same practice.

Kleinschrodt, M., & Lenn, J., & Jansons, M., & Potoff, J. (2020, July), First Year Engineering Student Success Enhancement Through the Support of Undergraduate Teaching Assistants Paper presented at 2020 First-Year Engineering Experience, East Lansing, Michigan. https://peer.asee.org/35761

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