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Integrating Service Learning In A Sophomore Level Materials, Manufacturing & Design Lab

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Teaching Materials Sci&Eng to Non-Majors

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.702.1 - 7.702.14



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Paper Authors

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Edmund Tsang

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Session 2364

Integrating Service-Learning in a Sophomore-level Materials, Manufacturing & Design Lab*

Edmund Tsang

College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Western Michigan University


Service-learning was successfully integrated into a sophomore-level course to teach materials, manufacturing and engineering design to mechanical engineering students. The course met a program need for a sophomore course with substantial design content and the service-learning design projects carried out by the students met two needs of the K-16 community. Based on the performance on graded materials, a great majority of the students were able to achieve the performance criteria established by the instructor in engineering design process, strain hardening and annealing, statistics, and communication skills.


The Mechanical Engineering Department, University of South Alabama, adopted design-across- curriculum as a strategy to meet the accreditation criteria of Engineering Criteria 2000. This necessitated the need for lower-division (100- and 200-level) courses with a substantial design component in addition to senior capstone design. Furthermore, the department adopted project - based learning to promote active learning. Consequently, realistic and inexpensive hands-on projects are needed to support this program goal.

The College of Engineering and the Mechanical Engineering Department have been partners with the Mobile County Public School System’s SECME (Southeastern Consortium for Minorities in Engineering) program for many years. SECME sponsors an annual academic competition to stimulate interest in mathematics, science, engineering and technology. In past years, the top performing students in each of competition categories received a certificate and, when funds were available, trophies that SECME bought from a trophy shop. These trophies bore no connection to academic achievements or SECME. In Fall 1999, the SECME program coordinator and the author of this paper brainstormed ideas to address the need for trophies to award students for their academic performance in the annual SECME competition.

Also in Fall, 1999, the College of Engineering began planning to restart an annual Open House in conjunction with the National Engineers Week that targets middle- and high-school students. This event necessitated the need for hands-on activities to engage the K-12 student visitors.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ã 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Tsang, E. (2002, June), Integrating Service Learning In A Sophomore Level Materials, Manufacturing & Design Lab Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11033

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