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Introduction To Engineering At Walnut Hills High School: The Students' Perspective

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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

Pre-College Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.758.1 - 7.758.8



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Paper Authors

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Audeen Fentiman

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Alex Mendlein

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Main Menu Session 3453

Introduction to Engineering at Walnut Hills High School: The Students’ Perspective

Alexandra N. Mendlein, Brandy C. Bishop, Adrian J. Brush, Michael Murrison / Audeen W. Fentiman Walnut Hills High School / The Ohio State University


Introduction to Engineering, a two-course sequence required of beginning engineering students at The Ohio State University (OSU), is being taught at Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, during the 2001-02 school year. The course has been modified so that it is taught over an entire school year rather than two 10-week quarters. However, the content of the Walnut Hills course is very similar to what is taught at Ohio State. Walnut Hills students maintain a portfolio of all their work in the Introduction to Engineering (IE) course and may use this portfolio to support a request for college credit for IE if they decide to attend OSU and major in engineering.

Fifty-nine students who had completed pre-calculus chose to take the elective IE course at Walnut Hills. The course is team taught by a math teacher and a science teacher at Walnut Hills with support from faculty and staff of the OSU College of Engineering. The students are active participants in assessment of the pilot IE course. They provide information on their attitudes toward engineering, skills they have learned, and applications of those skills in other courses. They are frequently asked to write about the concepts that were easiest to understand (and why), and those that were most difficult to learn (and offer suggestions for improving the instruction).

This paper has been prepared by a team of students selected from a group of volunteers. It describes the course from the students’ perspective, focusing on the skills learned, activities that were perceived to be valuable and those that were not, changes in their attitudes toward engineering as a career, and suggestions for improving the course next year.


A new course, Introduction to Engineering, was offered for the first time at Walnut Hills High School during the 2001-2002 school year. In another paper in these Proceedings 1, the Walnut Hills and Ohio State University faculty present a detailed description the Introduction to Engineering course, outline their goals for the course, and provide an assessment of the first year. This paper describes the course and its impact from a student’s point of view.

The Introduction to Engineering course helped to give fifty-nine high school juniors and seniors a better appreciation and understanding of various engineering disciplines. With the help of Ohio State and General Electric, students had the opportunity to gain a head start on other college freshmen with an engineering major. The goal of the Introduction to Engineering course was to establish a strong foundation on which to build an engineering career.

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

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Fentiman, A., & Mendlein, A. (2002, June), Introduction To Engineering At Walnut Hills High School: The Students' Perspective Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10537

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