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Great Ideas for Teaching Students (GIFTS): Developing Students Through a “Design a Lab” Exercise

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Conference

2018 FYEE Conference

Location

Glassboro, New Jersey

Publication Date

July 24, 2018

Start Date

July 24, 2018

End Date

July 26, 2018

Conference Session

Technical Session IX

Tagged Topics

Diversity and FYEE Conference Sessions

Page Count

5

Permanent URL

https://strategy.asee.org/31418

Download Count

42

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Paper Authors

biography

Roger J Marino P.E. Drexel University

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Roger Marino is an Associate Teaching Professor in the College of Engineering at Drexel University, Philadelphia Pennsylvania. His home Department is Civil Architectural and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Marino has 30+ years of field experience, and is licensed as a Professional Engineer in the State of New Jersey. His primary focus at Drexel is in the Freshman and Sophomore curriculums teaching courses across all disciplines.

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biography

Gabriel R Burks Drexel University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-0985-0450

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Gabriel Burks holds his PhD in Materials Science & Engineering from Drexel University, where his primary research focus was polymer physics and crystallization. He completed his Baccalaureate Degree in Physics with a minor in Chemistry from Grambling State University. Gabriel was a three year National Science Foundation GK-12 STEM Fellow, where he taught in partnering high school classrooms in the School District of Philadelphia. Gabriel’s educational passion is providing access to under-served groups and bridging community and higher education institution gaps. He is currently a postdoctoral research associate in the Bioengineering Department at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he focuses on STEM education assessment, reform, and educational psychology.

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Matthew N VanKouwenberg Drexel University

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Matthew N VanKouwenberg is a Master Teacher with Drexel’s DragonsTeach program. He has helped students develop methods for cleaning water and sustainably generating electricity and heat locally and around the world through programs including Engineers Without Borders. He has also led and assisted in teacher professional development efforts centered upon authentic projects for USAID and the US government in Africa, the Middle East, Central and South America.

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Brandon B. Terranova Drexel University

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Dr. Terranova is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the College of Engineering at Drexel University. In his current role, he is the lead instructor for the freshman engineering program, and oversees activities in the Innovation Studio, a large-area academic makerspace. He has taught and developed courses in general engineering and mechanical engineering at Drexel. Prior to Drexel, he has taught and developed courses in physics and mathematics at SUNY Binghamton, University of Delaware, Missouri Online College, and St. Mark’s High School. Dr. Terranova’s research interests include plasmonics, optical tweezing, photonics, electromagnetism, and engineering education. He received his MS in Physics from SUNY Binghamton, and his PhD in Electrical Engineering with a concentration in Electrophysics from Drexel University for his work in 3D plasmonic nanostructures.

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Abstract

In an effort to improve existing skills (and/or to develop new ones) of First Year Engineering students, student teams consisting of either three or four members were tasked with creating and designing a teaching experiment that demonstrated engineering principles for a target population of either high school or middle school students. The teams were presented with considerations of constraints such as: budgets for materials; classroom restrictions of space and time; quantity of class population served; ease of construction; and durability/ robustness of design. The First Year students navigated through the project using Guided Inquiry provided by an Instructional Team. The Instructional Team consisted of: a Teaching Professor; a STEM Education Specialist and two PhD Candidate Students.

Most students began the project with: ill-defined objectives; a lack of understanding of their target audience (and no consideration of the intellectual level of that audience); a lack of understanding of how to engage their target audience (relevancy, enthusiasm; fun); inhibited "free-thinking" conceptual/ ideation skills; no understanding of the creative process (including the use of the Engineering Design Process and decision matrices); limited understanding of the research component of a new idea (Does it exist already? If so, how do you make your idea novel, or improve on an existing idea that is not fully developed?); limited group interaction skills (and how to act as an equal member of the group including conflict resolution); and limited oral and written presentation skills. Students subsequently developed these skills (to various degrees) through the duration of the course. The Conceptualization-through-Implementation Phase of the Project followed an existing, recognized Product Development format developed by Karl Ullrich and Steven D. Eppinger of the University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, a Communications Professor was brought into the classroom to present a session on "Effective Oral Presentations" to help the students develop their presentation skills.

The results of the exercise were positive – with measured outcomes being encouraging. Additionally, the students commented in their end-of-term evaluations that they believed the greatest benefit to them was the “team teaching” by the members of the Instructional Team, who provided weekly monitoring and mentoring. This paper will also present the components of the course – which can be adapted by the reader for implementation in their own course.

Marino, R. J., & Burks, G. R., & VanKouwenberg, M. N., & Terranova, B. B. (2018, July), Great Ideas for Teaching Students (GIFTS): Developing Students Through a “Design a Lab” Exercise Paper presented at 2018 FYEE Conference, Glassboro, New Jersey. https://strategy.asee.org/31418

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: © 2018 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