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How College Students Are Increasing Global Competency while Inspiring the Next Generation of Engineers through UFLL (student poster)

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

International Division Poster Session

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

23.666.1 - 23.666.16



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Paper Authors


Jeff Scott Thomas

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Jeffery Thomas has been the vice president of the ASCE Chapter at Salt Lake Community College for the past two and a half years and an active member of the ASCE club at Salt Lake Community College for the past three years. He has participated in and organized many events and ASCE local activities over those years.
Thomas moved from Colorado after finishing high school in 2010 to attend college in Utah. He is currently an engineering student at Salt Lake Community College, majoring in Civil Engineering with interest in the Structural branch of Civil.
Thomas is involved with the 2+2 transfer program, an articulated engineering program between the two institutions SLCC and University of Utah. He plans to complete his Associate's of Civil Engineering at Salt Lake Community College in spring 2013 before transferring to the University of Utah in the following fall semester.

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Nick M. Safai Salt Lake Community College


Christopher F Thompson S.M.ASCE Salt Lake Community College Orcid 16x16

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Christopher F. Thompson has been a student at Salt Lake Community College in Salt Lake City, Utah since the fall of 2009. He is currently studying chemical, civil and environmental engineering. While attending SLCC, he has been involved in extracurricular activities. He is the student president for the American Society of Civil Engineers student chapter at SLCC, and the vice president of Leadership for Phi Theta Kappa. He served as an event manager and the head state referee for the 2012 Utah FIRST LEGO League season. He looks forward to graduating with an A.S. in General Studies in the spring of 2014 followed by an associate’s of pre-engineering degree in Chemical/Civil/Environmental Engineering in the fall of 2015. He chooses to study civil/environmental engineering as a way to grow within his already existing career field. For the past six years, he has worked in the civil engineering profession as a designer/draftsman. He works closely with civil, environmental, and structural engineers on a daily basis; so for him, becoming a civil engineer is his next logical career progression. He brings to the table a fresh mind and eagerness to succeed. It is his opinion that experience can overrule education. He has every intention to reach a point where his education will meet his experience, creating a complete and well-rounded professional engineer. Thompson plans to minor in Chemical Engineering. When coupled with his education in civil and environmental engineering, chemical engineering is a field of study that he believes will lead him to achieving his ultimate goal: earning a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering. Thompson believes his education will allow him to know how to design and construct an appropriate nuclear facility, while chemical engineering will help him understand the actual nuclear science process.

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Role of a Two-Year College in a Global Work-Place for Increasing Competency by FLL - Building Passion for Engineering & Science from an Early AgeIn the competitive workplace of the world today, it is imperative to have more competentengineering graduates coming out of our Institutions of Higher Ed. From the days of childhood,the question has been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” yet often, kids do notknow much about the answers that they give. Truly, how many young children do have a rationalidea about what they hope to accomplish in their future? High school and college is when thenatures of specific jobs are discussed in detail, yet by this time kids must choose what path ineducation they must take or risk being left behind. What if kids could experience firsthand whata career might entail, even before middle school? Could the irreplaceable skills of teamwork,problem solving and critical thinking be taught in a fun and invigorating environment?FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) LEGO League (FLL), aprogram centered on childhood experiences with technology and teamwork, offers answers toboth of these questions. Having formed a team, the kids develop a solution for a social topic ofthe year (health, food transportation, care of the elderly), implementing skills of research,brainstorming and professionalism at an age much younger than usual. An important aspect ofthis program is its appeal to a variety of skill sets; mechanical design, marketing, programming,presentation, technical writing—all these traits come into play as the team investigates andcreates their LEGO robotic solution. The independent work of these kids is a great virtue of theprogram, yet mentorship is essential to guide the kids along a productive path. Students ofcommunity colleges are especially well suited for this task. At a stepping stone between highschool and university, students of community colleges have the skills needed to be helpful, whilealso having the connection to their community that helps to spread excitement for the program.While the college students develop their leadership styles, the kids get to see challenges andexperience joys at producing solutions to technical problems. Education is imperative tochildhood development, yet sadly, many kids do not receive the first hand experience that helpsreveal passion that will drive them to successful careers in science, technology and engineering.This sort of experience is brought about by the technical challenges of FLL, an event that bringstogether students of all ages with a shared passion that can unite an entire community.

Thomas, J. S., & Safai, N. M., & Thompson, C. F. (2013, June), How College Students Are Increasing Global Competency while Inspiring the Next Generation of Engineers through UFLL (student poster) Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19680

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