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Project Based Learning Of Energy Conversion Principles At Freshman Level

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

New Ideas

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.948.1 - 7.948.16



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Oguz Soysal

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Session Number 2533


Oguz A. Soysal

Department of Physics and Engineering Frostburg State University


The paper presents the educational outcomes of the freshman design project titled “Wind Power Plant to Supply a Public Transportation System at a Ski Resort.” The topic was selected to help students understand energy conversion principles by hands on experience. Students also had a chance to see different aspects of the engineering profession, and they developed teamwork and leadership skills. The paper discusses the features of the freshman design course, progress of the project, assessment results, and classroom observations obtained in 2001-fall semester.


“Introduction to Engineering Design (ENES 100)” is offered for freshman students interested in engineering and physics majors at Frostburg State University (FSU). The design topic adopted in one section of ENES 100 in Fall 2001 was entitled “Wind Power Plant to Supply a Public Transportation System at a Ski Resort”. The main goal was to help students understand better fundamental energy concepts they learn in the first introductory physics course as well as providing a general overview of the design and product development process. The selected “real-life example” gave the students an opportunity to apply physical concepts to practice by considering economical and social issues. Throughout the design project, basic principles of electromechanical energy conversion, conservation, and storage principles were introduced.

In most electrical engineering programs, energy conversion topics are covered in junior or senior level electives. As the interest in electronics, communication, and computer technology has continuously grown over at least four decades, the enrollment in power related electives in electrical engineering programs has drastically decreased. Consequently, the majority of electrical engineering students graduate without taking any particular course that discusses energy conversion and conservation issues. Energy problems lately experienced in the West has generated public concern about energy production, consumption, and conservation issues. The selected design project also

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Soysal, O. (2002, June), Project Based Learning Of Energy Conversion Principles At Freshman Level Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10629

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