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Interaction Of Engineering Technology And Fine Arts Through Instructor Collaboration

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Integrating H&SS in Engineering III

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.812.1 - 10.812.9



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Paper Authors

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Valerie Grash

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Andrew Rose

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

Session 3661

Interaction of Engineering Technology and Fine Arts through Instructor Collaboration Andrew T. Rose, Valerie Grash University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown

Abstract Higher education strives to prepare graduates for career success and satisfaction in life. At the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (UPJ), most students prepare for their career through their major area of study by taking discipline specific courses in their major. To more fully develop their knowledge, University-wide general education (GenEd) requirements provide all UPJ students opportunities to develop competency in oral and written communication, quantitative reasoning skills, and a breadth of knowledge in social sciences, natural sciences and humanities. This last requirement is intended to expose students to diverse perspectives and personal enrichment opportunities. Although the GenEd curriculum requires students take courses in a variety of fields outside their major, the incorporation of activities that support the GenEd goals into discipline specific courses is encouraged. Similarly students in non-science and non- engineering majors can become better prepared for life and careers of the future through exposure to appropriate science and technology topics incorporated in their major courses. This paper discusses a collaborative effort by the authors incorporating a fine arts perspective in two civil engineering technology courses and a technical perspective in a fine arts course.

Introduction Engineering education focuses on preparing students for careers in technology and the professional practice of engineering. Accreditation organizations,1 professional societies,2 as well as universities3 realize that in today’s diverse world, engineering graduates need to be well- educated in areas beyond the typical technical knowledge necessary for engineering practice. As a result, exposure to and appreciation of the arts and humanities and the social sciences is a vital component in preparing engineering graduates who will better serve the needs of society. Although most universities attempt to accomplish this through a distribution of elective courses in the humanities and social sciences, connections between the technical content of the engineering curriculum and the values and paradigms of the humanities and social sciences are not typically developed or emphasized. Engineering students often do not appreciate their humanities and social science electives and have difficulty relating them to their education and career goals. In addition, incorporating additional liberal arts courses into an already crowded curriculum is difficult for many engineering and engineering technology programs.4 Similarly, students in the humanities, social sciences, and other non-science fields may not fully appreciate the influence of science and technology on their fields of study and careers. A recent trend at more and more universities is to offer courses introducing engineering to non-engineering majors as a way to improve the technical literacy of all students.5

In an effort to improve engineering students’ appreciation of the role of the arts and humanities in engineering design, as well as help non-engineering students gain an appreciation of the

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ©2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Grash, V., & Rose, A. (2005, June), Interaction Of Engineering Technology And Fine Arts Through Instructor Collaboration Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14134

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2005 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015