New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session
The objective of this grant is to develop six education modules that utilize Engineering Grand Challenges as a framework for teaching nanotechnology to freshmen engineering students. The goals of these modules are to 1) increase nanotechnology awareness and understanding as part of achieving ABET student outcomes 2) to familiarize students with the current grand challenges in engineering and potential nanotechnology enabled solutions, and 3) to increase student understanding of the importance of grand challenges and nanotechnology to the engineering profession. The modules will be designed to be adaptable to a range of formats and lengths. The full version of each module will include a combination of multimedia presentations, case studies, engineering calculations, and hands on activities. Within the College of Engineering, the modules will be disseminated through the freshman Introduction to Engineering courses offered by each department and outreach activities. Additional dissemination will occur through NanoHub, the National Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education Digital Library (NSDL), YouTube, conference presentations and peer reviewed publications. Knowledge and attitude surveys (at baseline and during semesters with modules) were conducted to measure students’ attitudes toward engineering (including nanotechnology and Grand Challenges) as well as their knowledge changes about nanotechnology. The five Grand Challenges of most interest to students were Make Solar Energy More Economical, Reverse Engineer the Brain, Provide Access to Clean Water, Advance the Tools of Scientific Discovery, and Provide Energy From Fusion. Topics that were significantly more interesting for female students and that had the largest effect sizes were advancing health informatics, engineering better medicines, and advancing personalized learning. Topics that appealed more to male students included exploring space, providing energy from fusion, and securing cyberspace. URM racial/ethnic groups had significantly stronger interest in nanotechnology and enhancing virtual reality than non URM students. The first module, “Make Solar Energy More Economical,” was implemented in coed (n=31) and all female (n=29) middle and high school engineering camps in summer 2015. Students in the camps made statistically and practically significant gains in nano knowledge from the module and enjoyed the activities. In fall 2015, the solar module was expanded for implementation in the chemical engineering sections of the freshman Introduction to Engineering course. A module on “Reverse Engineering the Brain,” was also implemented. The results of the evaluation of these modules will be used to refine the modules for implementation in additional engineering disciplines, and internet dissemination. Additional modules will be developed with the goal of institutionalizing modules for at least six Grand Challenges throughout the College of Engineering and beyond.
Davis, E. W., & Lakin, J. M., & Raju, P., & Davis, V. A. (2016, June), NUE: The Freshman Experience and Nanotechnology Solutions to Engineering Grand Challenges Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25812
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