June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Energy Conversion and Conservation
12.1196.1 - 12.1196.21
Project-based Pedagogy to Enhance Teaching and Learning in Energy and the Environment for Honors Students
The paper presents a project-based teaching pedagogy for an honors level freshman course on energy and the environment. In addition to class lectures and discussions, students select from among a menu of energy-related topics for their project. The projects cover various aspects of the in-class discussions on energy fundamentals, renewable energy, fossil fuels, environmental impact, and energy policy. Each student prepares a 30 minute presentation on their topic to be given in class. The key criteria are for the lecture and data presented to be substantially different from the in-class lectures, up-to-date, and extend beyond the US (i.e., internationalized or globalized). Students are expected to be the experts on the topic after completing and presenting their project. Sample student topics include: wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar, biomass, ocean and tidal energy, coal, petroleum, natural gas, oil shale and tar sands, electric power, fuel cells, environmental impact of energy, energy supply and demand, materials for energy applications, and the 2005 US Energy Act.
The class, over a two year period 2005-2006, has shown a remarkable level of growth, excitement and interest of students. The presentations followed by questions and answers have shown enhanced teaching and learning of students. Student evaluations have indicated the project to be one of the key aspects of the course students liked most. It was concluded that project-based pedagogy significantly enhances teaching and learning.
To meet the ever increasing energy demand, the nation and the world need a well trained and diverse workforce to develop process, utilize and manage both conventional and renewable energy sources in an environmentally safe and economically viable manner. Unfortunately, many of the academic programs that provided such workforce (e.g., chemical engineering) have redirected their focus to the health or bio-related areas leaving many energy producing and consuming industries with a high average technical workforce age and growing workforce demand. There is also renewed emphasis on the development of alternative sources of energy to conventional fossil fuels. The increasing demand for energy and trained energy workforce calls for innovative methods to increase enrollments and graduation rates of students in energy-focused disciplines.
Penn State University has significant resources and expertise in energy especially within the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS) through the departments of Energy and Geo-Environmental Engineering (EGEE), Material Science and Engineering and Geosciences as well as the Energy Institute (EI)1. The EMS College, in collaboration with other Colleges, is uniquely positioned to assist in this area of national importance: energy. The EGEE Department2, for example, is committed to educating the student body at Penn State with regard to energy and energy concerns. This department is currently
Yeboah, Y., & Pisupati, S. (2007, June), Project Based Pedagogy To Enhance Teaching And Learning In Energy And The Environment For Honors Students Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--3066
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2007 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015