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First-Year Service Learning Project: Engineering Education with a Broader Social Purpose

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Conference

2020 ASEE North Central Section conference

Location

Morgantown, West Virginia

Publication Date

March 27, 2020

Start Date

March 27, 2020

End Date

May 20, 2020

Page Count

9

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/35735

Download Count

16

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Paper Authors

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Varun K Kasaraneni Gannon University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-3128-7537

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David Gee Gannon University

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FYS Coordinator, College of Engineering
Faculty Advisor, ASME Student Chapter

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Saeed Tiari

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Ramakrishnan Sundaram Gannon University

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Dr. Sundaram is a Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Gannon University. His areas of research include computational architectures for signal and image processing as well as novel methods to improve/enhance engineering education pedagogy.

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Abstract

Freshman engineering students at our institution take the First Year Seminar (FYS) course in their first semester to assist in the transition from high school to university life and education. The goals of the course include instilling motivation and cultivating, within each student, a growing interest and passion for engineering, as well as developing the skills required for problem solving in engineering disciplines. The service learning project (SLP), which is included within the FYS taught at our institution, helps achieve some of these goals. Specifically, the students understand aspects of engineering design with cost and time constraints. They must work in teams, thereby contributing and acquiring not just technical skills but also communication and leadership skills. These skills are essential for the engineers of the future to be effective and competitive in the global workforce. For the past three academic years, the SLP focused on food security as stated in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). The objective of the project is to design and construct a functional model of a solar-powered food dehydrator (SFD) to remove moisture from produce and extend their shelf life. Significantly, a key aspect of the project is that the design and construction of the SFD be feasible for on-site construction; that is, without an over-reliance on technical construction techniques or on hard-to-get materials. For the past three years, the scale of the product has been reduced from full to bench, which allowed for a simple, portable, and affordable design. This paper will discuss the final product designs and the learning aspects offered by engineering design projects with service learning components which are included as part of the FYS experience.

Kasaraneni, V. K., & Gee, D., & Tiari, S., & Sundaram, R. (2020, March), First-Year Service Learning Project: Engineering Education with a Broader Social Purpose Paper presented at 2020 ASEE North Central Section conference, Morgantown, West Virginia. https://peer.asee.org/35735

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