June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.765.1 - 13.765.7
Integrating Global Warming into a Freshman Engineering Introductory Course
Managing the problems that global warming is being forecast to cause is going to require the educated attention of many disciplines. One of these has to be engineering as engineers are trained in the practical application of science and technology to meet human needs. What is being presented here is how we have restructured part of our course to provide lecture content and laboratory experiences on global warming.
We are fortunate to have a course that provides the framework to accomplish this, our freshman course EGR 190 Fundamentals of Engineering and Computer Science (FECS). This course has been modified to include pre and post global warming perception surveys, an introduction to global warming using the video “An Inconvenient Truth”, mini lectures on alternative energy and two lectures and labs involving solar, wind, and hydrogen fuel cells as energy sources and a writing across the curriculum assignment on global warming.
The paper includes the revised structure of the lectures and labs, how the video is integrated, and the response of the students through their writing across the curriculum assignment. Details on the pre and post perception survey has been submitted as a separate paper.
The emphasis for this effort came about because the common freshman book chosen at our university for the 2007-2008 academic year had its focus on global warming. This was former Vice President Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”.  The book has a compelling presentation of data related to the causes and effects of global warming. There is also a companion DVD that presents the data in a format that is easily understood and keeps ones attention. There is also an update on the DVD. In addition, Mr. Gore shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for his efforts in being at the fore front in presenting the issue to audiences around the world. IPCC also published four reports that helped in understanding the problems of global warming and measures needed to counteract them. [2, 3, 4, 5] These events and the emphasis on global warming in the daily press and popular magazines convinced us that the subject matter was very important and should be incorporated into our existing freshman course. Therefore, we wrote a grant proposal to the university to do this and received local funding to proceed.
Our FECS course is required of all incoming first year engineering students. It is offered each quarter and approximately 250 students total enroll. Enrollment is limited to 90 each quarter. It is designed to introduce engineering and computer science principles through hands-on experience, establish a sense of community, develop an understanding of how to be successful in studying engineering, and to foster collaboration among students through cooperative teaming. This
Rowley, B., & Yelamarthi, K., & Bazzoli, T. (2008, June), Integrating Global Warming Into A Freshman Engineering Introductory Course Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/4270
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