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First Year Experience And Beyond: Using The Engineering Design Process To Support Learning And Engineering Skill Development

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

FPD7 -- Service Learning

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

12.750.1 - 12.750.12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/2851

Download Count

32

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Paper Authors

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Paul Pagano Western Michigan University

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Paul Pagano is a second-year student in Civil Engineering at Western Michigan University. He is active in the student ASCE chapter, assists student teams in the Student Projects Lab, and plans to gain his professional engineers license and employment in a geotechnical engineering firm after graduation.

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Amanda Rossman Western Michigan University

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Amanda Rossman is a second-year student in Civil and Construction Engineering at Western Michigan University. She serves as a tutor to first-year, at-risk students, and is interested in pursuing a career in structural engineering.

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Kendall Vasilnek Western Michigan University

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Kendall Vasilnek is a second-year student in Civil and Construction Engineering at Western Michigan University. She is a teaching assistant for first-year, at-risk students, and hopes to go into environmental engineering upon graduation.

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Betsy Aller Western Michigan University

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Betsy M. Aller received her PhD from Michigan Technological University and is assistant professor of Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering at Western Michigan University. She teaches her department's capstone design courses and the college-wide service learning engineering design sequence, and participates and teaches in the first-year program.

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Edmund Tsang Western Michigan University

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Edmund Tsang received his BS (distinction) in Mechanical Engineering and his PhD in Metallurgy. He is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Assessment, and Co-Director of the Engineering Design Center for Service-Learning at Western Michigan University. Dr. Tsang's current professional interests include student engagement and success, and retention and recruitment.

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Andrew Kline Western Michigan University

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Andrew Kline received his PhD from Michigan Technological University and is assistant professor of chemical engineering at Western Michigan University. He is Director of the Engineering Design Center for Service Learning, and coordinates and teaches the college-wide service learning engineering design course sequence.

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Edward Brabandt Western Michigan University

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Edward Brabandt is a third-year student in Manufacturing Engineering Technology at Western Michigan University. His interests are in manufacturing engineering design and fabrication.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

First-year Experience and Beyond: Using the Engineering Design Process to Support Learning and Engineering Skill Development

Abstract

First-year engineering programs increasingly introduce a focus on the engineering design process, responding in part to accreditation needs and industry advice. Yet too often these introductions to the design process are one or two semesters only, resulting in students not having time to either complete genuine design projects or not absorbing the process sufficiently to be able to apply throughout their academic years. This paper describes a service-learning project that began in a one- semester introductory course, but that continued over three semesters.

Students from a variety of majors in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS) at Western Michigan University, enrolled in a first-year Introduction to Engineering class in Fall 2005, worked in teams to design a working prototype of a demonstration kit for a local high school science teacher. The demonstration kit was intended to safely teach x-ray diffraction of a single crystalline solid (by substituting lasers instead of using harmful x-rays) and to allow the high school teacher to demonstrate the mathematical concepts of 2-, 3-, and 4-fold rotational symmetry. In completing these designs, the students closely followed and applied the engineering design process. In the second semester, a group of three of the original 30 students re-evaluated, re-designed, and fabricated their prototypes from the previous semester.

Through this first-year project, these students were responsible for the entire cycle of engineering design, from concept through implementation – a rare opportunity. This paper explores not only the success of one student design project stemming from applying the engineering design process in a first-year engineering program, but also presents from our experience ways in which student learning and development can be enhanced in the first year and continued and augmented beyond the first- year experience.

Introduction and Project Objectives

In the fall semester of 2005, 30 students enrolled in a three-credit (two hours lecture; two hours laboratory per week) university course for first-year engineering students (ENGR 1010 “Introduction to Engineering and Technology”) were instructed to complete a guided design project, solving a real problem for a real “customer.” Their charge was to create an instructional device to simulate x-ray diffraction of single crystals. Working with a high school physics teacher (their “customer”), teams of first-year engineering students used the engineering design process to create a device that effectively simulated the phenomenon of x-ray diffraction. X-ray diffraction is the scattering of x-rays by atoms of a crystal into a crystalline lattice pattern. The teacher wanted his students to be able to see and understand how Bragg’s Law, a mathematical definition explaining x-ray diffraction, works.

In 1913, Sir W.H. Bragg and his son, W.L. Bragg, derived an equation that validated the fact that real particles exist at the atomic scale. 1, 2 The Bragg’s Law equation can be manipulated to

Pagano, P., & Rossman, A., & Vasilnek, K., & Aller, B., & Tsang, E., & Kline, A., & Brabandt, E. (2007, June), First Year Experience And Beyond: Using The Engineering Design Process To Support Learning And Engineering Skill Development Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2851

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2007 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015