June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session
26.1144.1 - 26.1144.18
Mechatronics Experiential Learning for Broadening Participation in Engineering The theme behind this research is equalizing educational opportunities that lead to increased re-tention of students from groups that are underrepresented in engineering at the University of Texasat Arlington (UTA). Hands-on learning experiences are known to increase student engagement intheir engineering training and we would like to make this motivator more available to underrepre-sented students. However, there is a certain skill set that must be acquired, having to do with dataacquisition systems and the hardware-software interface that are required to make any progress inmechatronics. Currently at UTA, students acquire these skills through individual research, extra-curricular experiences, or company internships, which are paths that cannot be gauranteed to befollowed by the targeted cohort. Adding formal curricular instruction of these skills allows allstudents have equal access to these skills, which can increase their desire and motivation to re-main in engineering. This instruction is being added to the undergraduate introduction to roboticscourse because many undergraduate students are excited and fascinated by robotics. The interplaybetween theory, practical, and hands-on knowledge in robotics also makes it an ideal area to in-troduce mechatronics. The goal is to introduce this course at the junior level, although the currentcohort consists of seniors, to prepare students for senior design where they can use these skills toproduce more sophisticated senior design projects. We will monitor the senior design projects ofstudents who have taken the course to determine whether they voluntarily use the knowledge theyhave gained, or shy away from such projects. The presentation of senior design projects is open toall faculty so we can easily follow students, particularly underrepresented ones, and determine towhat extent they use the information they learned in the class, which gives an indication of theirconﬁdence level and enthusiasm for the skills learned in the class.
Guy, A., & Bowling, A., & Shiakolas, P. S. (2015, June), Mechatronics Experiential Learning for Broadening Participation in Engineering Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24481
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