June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Community Engagement Division
23.644.1 - 23.644.17
Global Engineering Design Symposium: Revealing the Sociocultural Aspects of Engineering Problem SolvingGlobal service learning continues to gain prominence at many engineering schools. At PurdueUniversity, for example, three main programs offer students global engineering projectexperience while serving the needs of the global poor, namely Engineers Without Boarders(EWB), Global Design Teams (GDTs) and Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS).Participating students work to create technical solutions to address a developing community'sneeds, either for academic credit or as an extracurricular activity. Students working on suchprojects can often tap into the technical resources and expertise needed to carry out their work,including through participating faculty and staff. However, preparing students for the non-technical aspects of their projects is often more difficult since it requires that students learn howto identify and grapple with the kinds of social, cultural, and political considerations thatfrequently emerge when working on real-world problems in developing contexts. To address thisissue Purdue's Global Engineering Program (GEP) organized an inaugural Global EngineeringDesign Symposium (GEDS) in early 2012. This half-day event attracted more than 90 students,faculty, and staff, and featured presentations, panels, and interactive exercises covering topicssuch as global competency, transdisciplinary teamwork, human-centered design, andstakeholder/needs analysis. This paper offers a detailed description of the symposium.Additionally, we report pre- and post-event assessment data from participating students,including: 1) demographics, 2) results from a series of Political and Social Involvement surveyquestions, 3) quantitative evaluation scores for all major event components, and 4) qualitativeresults from three open-ended event evaluation questions. In summary, the event was viewedvery favorably by most students, with many specifically noting the value of hearing aboutspecific stories and cases from the speakers and engaging topics like the role of national/localcultures in engineering problem solving. The major goals of this paper include characterizing theengineering students who opt into these kinds of programs, providing faculty and staff at otherinstitutions with inspiration and guidance for organizing similar kinds of training opportunities,and exploring strategies for systematically assessing the effectiveness of such events. This workis important for identifying how engineering curricula can be expanded to address a wider rangeof technical, professional, and global competencies, while allowing students and faculty to makea difference in the wider world.
Jesiek, B. K., & Dare, A. E., & Thompson, J. D., & Forin, T. R. (2013, June), Global Engineering Design Symposium: Engaging the Sociocultural Dimensions of Engineering Problem Solving Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19658
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