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Living With The Lab: A Curriculum To Prepare Freshman Students To Meet The Attributes Of "The Engineer Of 2020"

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

FPD4 - Teaching Methods for First Year Students

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.855.1 - 13.855.19



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Paper Authors

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David Hall Louisiana Tech University

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Stan Cronk Louisiana Tech University

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Patricia Brackin Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Mark Barker Louisiana Tech University

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Kelly Crittenden Louisiana Tech University Orcid 16x16

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

Living with the Lab: A Curriculum to Prepare Freshman Students to Meet the Attributes of “The Engineer of 2020”

Abstract A project-based, freshman engineering course sequence has been developed and implemented for all new freshman engineering students with support from an NSF CCLI grant. The mission of the curriculum is to systematically instill the ten attributes of engineers outlined in the National Academy of Engineering report “The Engineer of 2020: Visions of Engineering in the New Century.”

The curriculum objectives are divided into seven threads that run concurrently throughout the freshman year: systems, electromechanical devices, fabrication and acquisition, software, fundamental engineering concepts, communication, and broadening activities. We have worked to structure the content timing and delivery so that the knowledge, skills and attitudes associated with each thread are built progressively. Curriculum objectives are directly tied to the ten attributes of “The Engineer of 2020.”

Instead of a textbook, students purchase a Parallax Boe-Bot kit that serves as a platform for laboratory and design projects, allowing students to quickly develop skills in programming and circuit prototyping. Students also purchase a set of tools for completing electromechanical projects and several software programs for facilitating engineering analysis and 3D modeling. A Freshman Projects Classroom was designed to promote team-based learning.

The faculty and students are challenged by the new curriculum and are now more motivated and engaged in learning than with the prior curriculum. Assessments from this academic year suggest that the curriculum does accomplish our primary goal of preparing students to meet the attributes of “The Engineer of 2020.”

Hall, D., & Cronk, S., & Brackin, P., & Barker, M., & Crittenden, K. (2008, June), Living With The Lab: A Curriculum To Prepare Freshman Students To Meet The Attributes Of "The Engineer Of 2020" Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4258

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