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Leveraging Algae to Inspire Curiosity, Develop Connections, and Demonstrate Value Creation for First Year Engineering Students

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Conference

2019 FYEE Conference

Location

Penn State University , Pennsylvania

Publication Date

July 28, 2019

Start Date

July 28, 2019

End Date

July 30, 2019

Conference Session

M3B: Learning in Context 2

Tagged Topic

FYEE Conference - Paper Submission

Page Count

9

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/33716

Download Count

14

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Paper Authors

biography

Kevin D. Dahm Rowan University

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Kevin Dahm is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at Rowan University. He earned his BS from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (92) and his PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (98). He has published two books, "Fundamentals of Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics" and "Interpreting Diffuse Reflectance and Transmittance." He has also published papers on effective use of simulation in engineering, teaching design and engineering economics, and assessment of student learning.

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Cheryl A Bodnar Rowan University

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Cheryl A. Bodnar, Ph.D., CTDP is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Experiential Engineering Education at Rowan University. Dr. Bodnar’s research interests relate to the incorporation of active learning techniques in undergraduate classes as well as integration of innovation and entrepreneurship into the engineering curriculum. In particular, she is interested in the impact that these tools can have on student perception of the classroom environment, motivation and learning outcomes. She obtained her certification as a Training and Development Professional (CTDP) from the Canadian Society for Training and Development (CSTD) in 2010, providing her with a solid background in instructional design, facilitation and evaluation. She was selected to participate in the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium in 2013 and awarded the American Society for Engineering Education Educational Research Methods Faculty Apprentice Award in 2014.

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Scott Streiner Rowan University

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Dr. Scott Streiner is an assistant professor in the Experiential Engineering Education Department (ExEEd) at Rowan University. He received his Ph.D in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, with a focus in engineering education. His research interests include engineering global competency, curricula and assessment; pedagogical innovations through game-based and playful learning; spatial skills development and engineering ethics education. His funded research explores the nature of global competency development by assessing how international experiences improve the global perspectives of engineering students. Dr. Streiner has published papers and given presentations in global engineering education at several national conferences. Scott is an active member in the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) both locally and nationally, as well as the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE).

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Kauser Jahan Rowan University

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Kauser Jahan, is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rowan University. She received her B.S.C.E. from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, an MSCE from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Her passion as an educator and mentor has been recognized by many professional organizations over the years. She is the recipient of the Gloucester County Women of Achievement Award, Lindback Foundation Teaching Award, the NJ ASCE Educator of the Year award, the Gary J. Hunter Excellence in Mentoring Award, the ASEE Environmental Engineering Division Meritorious Service Award, the ASEE Women in Engineering Division Sharon A. Keillor Award and the WEPAN Women in Engineering Initiative Award. She has been instrumental in establishing the Attracting Women into Engineering, the Engineers on Wheels and Engineering Clinics for Teachers programs at Rowan University. She has served as the Institutional Representative and Advisory Board Chair for the Women's Professional Network at Rowan University for six years and currently is an advisory board member of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Council on Education (ACE) Office of Women in Higher Education (OWHE). She received a Fulbright award in 2015.

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Richard T. Cimino Rowan University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/https://0000-0003-4171-4133

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Dr. Richard T. Cimino is a Senior Lecturer in the Otto H. York Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D in Chemical & Biochemical Engineering from the Rutgers University, with a focus in adsorption science and the characterization of porous materials. His research interests include engineering ethics and process safety, and broadening inclusivity in engineering, especially among the LGBTQ+ community. His previous funded research has explored the effects of implicit bias on ethical decision making in the engineering classroom.

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Abstract

This full paper describes a first-year engineering student design project that leverages algae as a system for building entrepreneurial mindset in students. In this project students represent engineers working for an algae biofuels company that is seeking to expand their operations globally. As such, each student team is assigned to a country within different geographic regions to explore the feasibility of this expansion. In their analysis, students must not only consider technical elements associated with algae growth and harvesting but must also examine how this type of operation would impact the local economy, government, environment, and society. The project consists of four phases where students learn about algae growth through experimentation and mathematical modeling with MATLAB, describe ethical implications associated with algae growth, develop a broader appreciation for the diverse types of applications within which algae may be used, and investigate the broader impacts that algae growth can have within a specific context.

This project leverages KEEN’s entrepreneurially minded learning (EML) framework which focuses on students developing curiosity about the project they are working on, having the ability to connect information from a variety of sources and disciplines to guide their analysis, and creating a final product that will provide value to the targeted customer population. In the algae project, students are encouraged to be curious about the benefits and drawbacks that are associated with this form of alternative energy. They are prompted to ask why algae biofuels may be beneficial for the region in question, what benefits they could provide to the region, what potential drawbacks may exist, and what conditions will be necessary to ensure success with their algae growth plans. Students then leveraged the information gained as part of their experiments and classwork to make connections to how this could impact their assigned country. For instance, students learned through the hands-on algae growth experiment what types of conditions are necessary to optimize algae growth. They combined this knowledge with the results from mathematical modeling using MATLAB to determine whether their assigned country has the resources necessary to grow algae at a large scale. Students then learned about the value this algae expansion could have in their country through an exploration of the global, societal, economical, environmental, and ethical impacts. The goal of the project is to help students think about creating value in society as engineers, which often involves more than solving problems. Rather, it involves learning how to discover, identify, and dig deeper into authentic problems in an experiential way.

Dahm, K. D., & Bodnar, C. A., & Streiner, S., & Jahan, K., & Cimino, R. T. (2019, July), Leveraging Algae to Inspire Curiosity, Develop Connections, and Demonstrate Value Creation for First Year Engineering Students Paper presented at 2019 FYEE Conference , Penn State University , Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/33716

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: © 2019 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