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Impacts of Engineering Engagement Activities for First-Year Students

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Instructional and Learning Assessment in Chemical Engineering

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Jacqueline Gartner Ph.D. Washington State University

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Jacqueline Burgher is a PhD Candidate at Washington State University in the Voiland School of Chemical and Biological Engineering. She received her bachelor's degree from Anderson University, worked in industry, received an MBA from Anderson University and is currently working with Prof. Bernard J. Van Wie on fabricating, optimizing, and implementing a miniaturized gasification system for use in the engineering classroom.

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Bernard J. Van Wie Washington State University

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Prof. Bernard J. Van Wie received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D., and did his postdoctoral work at the University of Oklahoma where he also taught as a visiting lecturer. He has been on the Washington State University faculty for 32 years and for the past 18 years has focused on innovative pedagogy research and technical research in biotechnology. His 2007-2008 Fulbright exchange to Nigeria set the stage for him to receive the Marian Smith Award given annually to the most innovative teacher at Washington State University.

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Kirk A Reinkens Washington State University


Stephanie Anne Pitts Washington State University

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Stephanie Pitts is a computational mechanics PhD student in the Mechanical Engineering department of Washington State University. A recipient of the DOE Nuclear Energy University Programs Fellowship, she has served as an Instructor for the Engr 120 freshmen engineering introductory class for the past three years where she shares her passion for coding and engineering with the next generation of engineering students.

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Serving the demands for future engineering professionals in our society requires increasing retention of students in year one. This study is focused on students enrolled in Innovation in Design, which is a semester-long introduction to engineering course for freshmen students at a large research university in the northwest. The course is an interactive, hands-on experimental introduction to several engineering discipline projects and employs a flipped classroom approach to explain fundamental engineering concepts before students apply and test those concepts in the classroom experiments. This structure exposes students in year one to engineering applications, with an additional piece of the course designed to further engage students in the engineering school and research activities. The Engineering Engagement assignment, which is the focus of this study, is posed to broaden student exposure to engineering outside of the classroom. Our approach consists of two types of engagement, where students choose between attending a research seminar or a club meeting. Assessment of the effect of engagement activities on motivation was performed with the Science Motivation Questionnaire II, adapted to engineering courses. Test results were analyzed using three engineering engagement activities: research seminar, club meeting, and senior presentations as independent variables and the five motivation constructs from the SMQ-II as dependent variables. None of the constructs showed statistical significance.

Gartner, J., & Van Wie, B. J., & Reinkens, K. A., & Pitts, S. A. (2016, June), Impacts of Engineering Engagement Activities for First-Year Students Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25550

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