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Renaissance Learning And Poetry Contests In Biological And Agricultural Engineering

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Conference

2004 Annual Conference

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Accreditation and Related Issues in BAE

Page Count

6

Page Numbers

9.1055.1 - 9.1055.6

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/14019

Download Count

22

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

Renaissance learning and poetry contests in biological and agricultural engineering

Ann D. Christy The Ohio State University

Abstract

A “Renaissance” man or woman can be characterized by a balanced life, well-rounded interests, and a facility in both arts and sciences. Such integration and balance can be difficult to attain amidst higher education’s culture of specialization, fragmentation, and compartmentalization. Changes in ABET make it more apparent that engineering educators and students can learn from the example of people such as Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519) who was both an engineer and an artist, known for his inventions as well as his paintings. Many engineering students think that any time spent on non-technical subjects is not beneficial to their future careers. Over two years, the author assigned essays specifically inviting students to reflect on these attitudes. Fewer than half expressed an appreciation for the value of their general education courses, especially in arts and humanities. This goal of this project was to explore Renaissance learning within a biological and agricultural engineering (BAE) program. The primary methods included weekly essay assignments and an annual departmental poetry contest. As a component of regularly assigned homework, weekly essays were assigned to BAE seniors to give students the opportunity to reflect on various Renaissance principles. The discipline of regular essay writing can be an effective way to improve student communication skills and to lead students to a fuller understanding of their own potential and to expand their appreciation for the interconnectedness of all aspects of their college education, especially the arts and humanities. A departmental poetry contest was inaugurated to showcase the students’ creativity and to encourage students to write for enjoyment. The contest was open to undergraduates, alumni, graduate students, faculty, and staff. Judges were recruited among poetry professors in the college of humanities. Categories included technical and non-technical subjects. Prizes were awarded at the annual departmental awards banquet. Winning entries were read at a poetry reading gathering and posted in the hallways. Results were evaluated to assess the effectiveness of this approach and to guide future planning.

Introduction

A “Renaissance” man or woman can be characterized by a balanced life, well-rounded interests, and abilities in both arts and sciences. Such integration and balance can be difficult to attain amidst higher education’s culture of specialization, fragmentation, and compartmentalization. Moreover, accelerating change cannot be managed by any single discipline of technical

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Christy, A. (2004, June), Renaissance Learning And Poetry Contests In Biological And Agricultural Engineering Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/14019

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