June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Liberal Education/Engineering & Society
22.725.1 - 22.725.21
Fostering Innovation through the Integration of Engineering and Liberal EducationThere is growing urgency to graduate more innovative engineers. This panel will explore waysto foster the innovative capacity of undergraduate engineering students by challenging them withbig questions, and introducing them to multiple perspectives.Students today are inspired by big questions that matter, like the NAE Grand Challenges.Students are aided in finding innovative solutions to these big, open-ended, questions by havingthem learn to entertain and explore multiple perspectives. While the importance of integrativethinking is recognized in ABET’s EC-2000 (e.g. criteria (c), (h) and (j)), there is still far too littleintegration in the undergraduate engineering curriculum. The panel will discuss specificexamples of how to foster innovative capacity in engineering undergraduate students byharnessing the diverse and creative perspectives common to a liberal education.The session will draw on curricular and extra-curricular examples developed by participants inthe Symposium on Engineering and Liberal Education (E&LE). The Symposium wasinaugurated in 2008 as a forum to explore the rationale and methods of E&LE integration. Forthree years, the Symposium has brought together academic leaders and scholars from bothengineering and the liberal arts to explore models for integrating engineering and the traditionalliberal arts.The panel will include five short presentations dealing with five different aspects ofundergraduate engineering education, addressing different phases of students’ progress,recognizing that fostering innovation must be a continuous process: 1. Projects that focus on first year or introductory material 2. Projects that focus on core engineering courses 3. Projects that focus on capstone and extra-curricular experiences 4. Projects that span the curriculum 5. Faculty professional development to support projectsThe session will also include introductory remarks reviewing research results linking innovativecapacity to the development of integrative (divergent) thinking skills, and will allow ample timefor discussion.
Traver, C., & Klein, D., & Mikic, B., & Akera, A., & Shooter, S. B., & Epstein, A. W., & Gillette, D. (2011, June), Fostering Innovation through the Integration of Engineering and Liberal Education Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18006
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