New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Engineering Leadership Development Division
This paper will present the “Crisis Simulation,” an extracurricular activity developed by the Leadership Education and Development Program (LEAD) at a small undergraduate engineering college. The goal of the activity is to expose engineering students to the types of leadership roles that they might have to assume, or might be exposed to, in an unplanned crisis event. Exposed to an unfamiliar crisis situation in an environment which is meant to simulate realistic conditions, student teams are led by volunteer faculty and staff through an intense two hour experience in which they assume roles of leadership in a community, business or an organization. There are several major learning objectives of this simulation: i) students are introduced to different leadership styles and forced to discover that many of the leadership assumptions that hold true in business-as-usual situations are violated in a crisis; ii) students learn how to utilize and allocate limited resources and make necessary trade-offs; iii) students are exposed to situations in which they have to question the ethical implications of their decisions and determine what risks are acceptable and tolerable. Through a post-simulation reflection activity led by volunteer faculty and staff, as well as the local Emergency Services personnel, students are asked to relate their simulation leadership experiences to more domain-specific problems that they might encounter in their future careers. This paper will present three simulation scenarios that the group has tested and will share the experiences encountered by participating students as well as the faculty and staff organizers.
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