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Introducing A Service Learning Component To A Freshman Engineering Graphics Course

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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

Interdisciplinary Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.741.1 - 7.741.5



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Paper Authors

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Jeff Turk

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David Gattie

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Session 1408

Introducing a Service-Learning Component to a Freshman Engineering Graphics Course

David K. Gattie and H. Jeff Turk

Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering The University of Georgia


ENGR 1120 serves as an introductory course in engineering graphics for freshmen in Biological and Agricultural Engineering at The University of Georgia. The prevailing emphasis in the course has traditionally been to develop 2-D and 3-D graphics communication skills, heavily weighted in the enhancement of visual skills and the ability to generate sets of working drawings through an intense final group project. For the past three years, the approach to this final project has been for the instructor to give a fairly well defined description of a problem and leave the development of an early-stage solution to the creativity of the students. This approach has yielded positive results with respect to preparing them for their sophomore and senior level engineering design courses. However, in order to incorporate the ethical and societal responsibility of the engineering profession, while maintaining the traditional emphasis necessary in graphics science, a service-learning element has been included in the final project beginning Fall 2001 wherein the students define their own problem using instructor criteria that gears the student toward identifying a community need for disadvantaged individuals. This paper reports on the framework for this effort and the results for Fall 2001 and Spring 2002.


Identifying needs and improving the quality of life for society are paramount in the ethical responsibilities of an engineer. Freshman students entering an engineering curriculum are typically drawn to the program based on the lucrative and professional aspects of the field itself. However, as society becomes increasingly dependent on technology and as the hard sciences of engineering become more integrated with the soft science aspects of politics, economics and cultures, there is a increasing need for students to understand the link between technology and society. In a paper on a new paradigm for ecology and engineering, Wiedenhoft 1 comments, “The path to new paradigms lies in raising such questions [as what, why] and earnestly grappling with possible answers. Not a new dogma is thereby defined, but a new intensity and breadth of searching, a new open-mindedness, new awareness. Concerning impacts on society, the

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

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Turk, J., & Gattie, D. (2002, June), Introducing A Service Learning Component To A Freshman Engineering Graphics Course Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10265

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