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Preparing Freshmen For Future Energy Issues

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

FPD4 -- Hands-on & Real-World Studies

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1179.1 - 12.1179.9



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Paper Authors


Jonathan Rice University of Maryland-Baltimore County

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Jonathan Rice is a Masters student in the Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Department at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering in 2006 also at UMBC, graduating Magna Cum Laude and with an Honors College certificate. His current research at UMBC involves curriculum development and outreach in the field of engineering education and he currently serves as the teaching fellow for UMBC’s Introduction to Engineering course.

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Taryn Bayles University of Maryland-Baltimore County

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Taryn Bayles is a Professor of the Practice of Chemical Engineering in the Chemical & Biochemical Engineering Department at UMBC, where she teaches, the Introduction to Engineering Design course, among other Chemical Engineering courses. Her research interests include engineering education and outreach. She is actively involved in developing curriculum to introduce engineering concepts to K-12 students.

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Greg Russ University of Maryland-Baltimore County

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Gregory Russ graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2006 with a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He is currently pursuing a MS degree in Chemical Engineering with a focus on Engineering Education, also from UMBC. He is a member of several prestigious honor societies, most notably the engineering honor society, Tau Beta Pi.

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Julia Ross University of Maryland-Baltimore County

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Julia M. Ross is the Chair of the Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Department at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Her
technical research interests are in the area of cellular engineering. In particular, her work focuses on bacterial adhesion to physiological
surfaces. In addition, she maintains an active research program in curriculum development with a focus on workforce development.

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

Preparing Freshmen for Future Energy Issues


In recent years, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) has revised its Introductory Engineering Design Course from a traditional lecture and design on paper course to an active learning environment featuring a variety of hands on activities and project based learning. Each week, students attend not only lectures with a university professor but also a hands-on discussion section led by a specifically selected teaching fellow (TF) whom has recently completed similar coursework. During the discussion sections, students are grouped into diverse, interdisciplinary, and academically-balanced teams to emphasize the importance of teamwork and communication in engineering fields. Throughout the semester, the teams are required to utilize the concepts learned in lecture and apply them to the completion of a fun, yet inexpensive design project. In presenting their work, the teams must demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental engineering principles behind their design in addition to simply exhibiting the functionality of their project.

During the Fall 2006 semester, the project facilitates learning of energy systems involving renewable energy sources. Students were required to construct a system that uses solar, wind, and/or hydro sources to collect energy. Furthermore, their system must be able to store, transport, convert, and utilize the collected energy to power a small light bulb. The overall effectiveness was judged based on the amount of energy that can be collected and distributed via the system versus a cost analysis for its design.

Overall, the course is setup to combine the apprehension of fundamental engineering concepts in lecture with their application during the design project. This particular project is important because it educates aspiring engineers about renewable energy sources. The development of such systems that are efficient and effective are becoming increasingly vital to economical, industrial, and social growth worldwide. As part of the INSPIRES (INcreasing Student Participation, Interest and Recruitment in Engineering and Science) curriculum (funded by the National Science Foundation – Instructional Materials Development ESIE program), a web based tutorial and computer simulation has been developed for this energy system design project. The web based tutorial features interactive animations and design simulations that allows students to adjust parameters to investigate the effect that each has on the efficiency of their simulated design. In addition, the on-line tutorial features pre and post assessments on content knowledge of the design process and underlying concepts. The results of these assessments will be compiled and presented.


The University of Maryland, Baltimore County has recently seen alterations made to the Introduction to Engineering Course (ENES 101) from a traditional lecture and design-on- paper course to a more active learning and hands-on experience. This transition has been

Rice, J., & Bayles, T., & Russ, G., & Ross, J. (2007, June), Preparing Freshmen For Future Energy Issues Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2333

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