June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.1125.1 - 26.1125.13
Making practical experience: Teaching thermodynamics, ethics and sustainable development with PBL at a bioenergy plantBioenergy is a renewable energy made available from materials derived from biological sources;today, it is important for the world and its future, as well as for engineering students that aregoing to work in that field or related ones. At the same time, engineering students, especiallychemical engineering students, need to learn about international issues related to energy such asethics and sustainable development, preferably in a way that is natural to understand, directlyrelated to their field.The aim of this paper is to present the experience of using Problem-based learning (PBL) forteaching thermodynamics, ethics and sustainable development by connecting this altogether withthe student practical experience at a bioenergy plant.The students visit an energy plant that converts biogas from a landfill into electrical energy; bythe time students are doing their PBL, they have to figure out how to improve the process interms of ethics and sustainable development (biogas production, CO2 emissions, and the liquidwaste that the plant produces). This allows the students to have practical experience on sometopics such as thermodynamic cycles, measurements of composition at the site plant, knowingthe actual equipment of pumps, pipelines, and so on.The paper describes the innovative elements added to the PBL teaching strategy in order toconnect all this issues; it also presents some of the research results, such as the engagement thatis achieved by the students, that leads them to the writing and publishing of papers with theirown ideas.We are dealing with a new generation of engineers: they are used to see, to touch, and to havefirst-hand experiences more than they did ten years ago; they are highly motivated with thethings they can see and understand. The results show some of these statements; furthermore, theyshow that teachers can get the students happily engaged and learning all the time.Keywords: Engineering education, PBL, sustainable development, innovation, practicalexperience.
Ramírez , D. D. C., & Ramírez, P. M. (2015, June), Making Practical Experience: Teaching Thermodynamics, Ethics, and Sustainable Development with PBL at a Bioenergy Plant Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24462
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