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Integrating Exposure to Nanotechnology through Project Work in a Large First-Year Engineering Course

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session II

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Kelsey Joy Rodgers Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Kelsey Rodgers is a graduate student at Purdue University in the School of Engineering Education. Her research focus is investigating how engineers' understand, develop, and use mathematical models and simulations. Her research also focuses on feedback. She is currently conducting research in first-year engineering on the Network for Nanotechnology (NCN) Educational Research team. She previously conducted research with the Model-Eliciting Activities (MEAs) Educational Research team and a few fellow STEM education graduates for an obtained Discovery, Engagement, and Learning (DEAL) grant. Prior to attending Purdue University, she graduated from Arizona State University with her B.S.E in Engineering from the College of Technology and Innovation, where she worked on a team conducting research on how students learn LabVIEW through Disassemble, Analyze, Assemble (DAA) activities.

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Bryan W. Boudouris Purdue University, West Lafayette


Heidi A. Diefes-Dux Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Heidi A. Diefes-Dux is a Professor in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She received her B.S. and M.S. in Food Science from Cornell University and her Ph.D. in Food Process Engineering from the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University. She is a member of Purdue’s Teaching Academy. Since 1999, she has been a faculty member within the First-Year Engineering Program, teaching and guiding the design of one of the required first-year engineering courses that engages students in open-ended problem solving and design. Her research focuses on the development, implementation, and assessment of modeling and design activities with authentic engineering contexts. She is currently a member of the educational team for the Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN).

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Michael T. Harris Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Michael “Mike” Harris is the Associate Dean for Engagement and Undergraduate Education and the Reilly Professor of Chemical Engineering, and Professor of Environmental and Ecological Engineering in the College of Engineering at Purdue University, West Lafayette. He was a Purdue University Faculty Scholar from 2002 to 2007, served as the Programming Chair and Chair of the ASEE Minority Division (2011-2014); and was named Fellow of AIChE (2009), won the AIChE Grimes Award for Excellence in Chemical Engineering (2005), and the AIChE Minority Affairs Distinguished Service Award (2009). . He is the author of 95 peer-reviewed publications and 11 patents. He received his BS in Chemical Engineering in 1981 from Mississippi State University, and both his MS (1987) and PhD (1992) degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tennessee. Dr. Harris's research is in the areas of nanomaterials, colloids and interfacial phenomena, transport phenomena, particle science and technology, microwave sensing of pharmaceutical powders, solidification of drug/excipient matrices, environmental control technology, and electrodispersion precipitation processes.

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We report the alignment between NSF grant goals and existing course goals, along with the process of developing, revising, and implementing two nanotechnology interventions to fulfill these goals. Specifically, we describe how nanotechnology was integrated into a first-year engineering course that does not have exposing students to nanotechnology as a course goal, but does afford opportunities for such through its existing goals and project assignment structures. We also reported findings based on analysis of this large-scale implementation that suggest greater need for training and structure to support consistency in nanotechnology opportunities presented across various instructors’ sections of the same courses.

Rodgers, K. J., & Boudouris, B. W., & Diefes-Dux, H. A., & Harris, M. T. (2016, June), Integrating Exposure to Nanotechnology through Project Work in a Large First-Year Engineering Course Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25806

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