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Fostering Entrepreneurial Mindset and Innovation in a Cross-Listed Science and Engineering Course

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

NSF Grantees: Entrepreneurship

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Bahram Roughani Loyola University Maryland

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Professor of Physics and Associate Dean for the Natural and Applied Sciences at Loyola University Maryland. Experimental condensed matter physicist with emphasis on optical spectroscopy and Electron Microscopy of electronic materials. PI on the NSF-IUSE supported collaborative project, "The PIPLINE Project", a national effort in collaboration with American Physical Society (APS) aiming at enhancing Physics Innovation and Entrepreneurship (PIE) education.

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Greater attention to promoting entrepreneurial mindset and innovation among STEM disciplines in recent years enhances the potential role for science and engineering majors as change-makers. The efforts by the emerging and growing Physics Innovation and Entrepreneurship (PIE) community in recent years bear resemblance to and overlaps with the efforts of engineering educators in terms of cultivating entrepreneurial mindset among college students. Physics Innovation and Entrepreneurship (PIE) efforts at Loyola University Maryland is shaped by the launch of two NSF funded initiatives; the Pathways to Innovation in 2015 and the PIPELINE Network; an NSF collaborative research grant in 2016. One of the outcomes of these efforts is a new course on Technical Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a cross listed course by Physics, Computer Science, and engineering. In this course students are introduced to innovation and entrepreneurial mindset through “User Innovation” concept, which is the focus of this report. Physics, computer science, and engineering students, as well as those majoring in communication, business, chemistry, biology, and psychology often take this as an elective course. The “User Innovation” module introduces Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E) concepts in context of students’ passion and their personal experience instead of using textbook definitions. Students are engaged in active learning practices that guides them through a journey, starting with “User Innovation” module and ending with a team project. In this process students identify needs, pains, and issues they care about, and concluding with a prototype developed through a team project that represent solutions to student defined problems. Teams project members collaboratively work on the necessary steps for launching a startup based on the team project “product”. They develop and submit a team project portfolio that document the challenges they faced, and their progress and achievements, while documenting how their prototype was treated to “launch a startup”. The success of the team project is measured by the quality of the prototype created, ability to adhere to a project timeline, quality of the written project report and documentations, the oral presentation, and the team project portfolio. Future plans include leveraging concept map to assess the impact of the whole course as well as the “User Innovation” module on students’ perception and attitudes about entrepreneurial mindset.

Acknowledgement: Support for this work is provided by the National Science Foundation's IUSE program under Award No. 1624882

Roughani, B. (2020, June), Fostering Entrepreneurial Mindset and Innovation in a Cross-Listed Science and Engineering Course Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34682

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