Asee peer logo

Lessons Learned from a First-Year Engineering Wind Turbine Project

Download Paper |


2021 ASEE North Central Section Conference


University of Toledo, Ohio

Publication Date

March 19, 2021

Start Date

March 19, 2021

End Date

March 20, 2021

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Todd France Ohio Northern University

visit author page

Todd France is the director of Ohio Northern University's Engineering Education program, which strives to prepare engineering educators for grades 7-12. Dr. France also helps coordinate the first-year engineering experience at ONU. He earned his PhD from the University of Colorado Boulder in Architectural Engineering, and conducted research in K-12 engineering education and project-based learning.

visit author page


William Sierzputowski Ohio Northern University

visit author page

A senior Engineering Education student at Ohio Northern University, Will participates in robotics, is the past president of his school's ASEE chapter, and is a member of Tau Beta Pi, IEEE and ACM. His engineering interests lie mainly in the fields of electrical and computer engineering. Upon graduation, he hopes to begin teaching engineering to high school students and to serve as both a role model and advocate for pursuing STEM, and specifically engineering as a field of study and career.

visit author page

Download Paper |


A first-year interdisciplinary engineering program at a small, private institution emphasizes hands-on experiences and collaborative learning. A four-week project in the middle of the fall semester entails prototyping small-scale wind turbines, allowing students to demonstrate their skills in 3D modeling, 3D printing, experimentation, and data analysis.

The proposed poster will highlight the observed advantages of this project, including streamlined connections among technology (Onshape > Cura > Creality Ender 3 > scroll saw > multimeter & anemometer > Excel) in support of an “analysis” phase of the engineering design process.

This project has undergone numerous revisions. Thus, challenges and mitigation strategies will also be documented – for example, holding individuals accountable in a team project, 3D printing logistics for 150+ students, ensuring student safety, reducing costs, and generating consistently measureable data.

In the most recent version of this project, a team of six pre-service STEM education students helped redevelop the wind turbine testing apparatus. This new approach greatly reduced logistical bottlenecks and first-year student frustrations. An account of the year-to-year lessons learned will be provided.

France, T., & Sierzputowski, W. (2021, March), Lessons Learned from a First-Year Engineering Wind Turbine Project Paper presented at 2021 ASEE North Central Section Conference, University of Toledo, Ohio.

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: © 2021 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