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Integrating Global Warming Into A Freshman Engineering Introductory Course

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

FPD7 - Global Warming & Sustainability for First-Year Students

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.765.1 - 13.765.7



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Paper Authors


Blair Rowley Wright State University

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BLAIR A. ROWLEY, Ph.D., P.E. is a Professor of Biomedical, Industrial, and Human Factors Engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, a Professor of Geriatrics in the Boonshoft School of Medicine, and Director of the Freshman Engineering and Computer Science Program. He holds the Ph.D. from the University of Missouri, Columbia and is a PE. He has been in academia since 1970. Among his many activities he served as the Chair of the ASEE/BMD 1987-1988 and is a reviewer for NSF. His research focuses on rehabilitation engineering and teaching.

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Kumar Yelamarthi Central Michigan University

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KUMAR YELAMARTHI, M.S. is currently a Ph.D. student, and holds a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Wright State University. He serves as the lead Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Freshman Engineering and Computer Science Program. He was honored as the most outstanding Graduate Student in 2004, most outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant in 2005, and also has been nominated for excellence in teaching awards several times. He is currently an author on over fifteen publications. His research focus is low-power VLSI methodologies, and engineering education.

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Thomas Bazzoli Wright State University

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THOMAS L. BAZZOLI, M.S. is Assistant Dean for Fiscal Affairs and Research. He holds the MS in Nuclear Science and Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology. During his Air Force career he directed diverse research programs in modeling and testing of system performance, compositional mapping of submicron materials and machine translation of text. He was instrumental in establishing the college’s freshman program.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

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”. [1] 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. 10.18260/1-2--4270

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