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Senior Design Experience Using NASA’s Lunabotics Mining Competition: Best Practices and Evaluation of Student Learning

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Design Potpourri

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1152.1 - 25.1152.13



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Paper Authors


Bethany M. Miller John Brown University

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Bethany M. Miller received a bachelor's of science in engineering with a mechanical concentration and Presidential Honors from John Brown University in 2012. She was a member of the Leaders Scholars Institute at JBU. In addition, she was the Engineering Editor of the university’s undergraduate journal Broaden for three years, and was Vice President of the Engineering Club during her senior year. She was a member of the JBU Lunabot team, which competed at NASA in May 2012.

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Will C. Holmes John Brown University

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Will Holmes is an Associate Professor of engineering at John Brown University in northwest Arkansas. Prior to coming to John Brown University, he spent 10 years at Taylor University in central Indiana. Prior to that appointment, he received his Ph.D. from Washington State University in materials science and engineering. Holmes enjoys teaching a wide variety of classes and involving students at all levels of undergraduate study in team-based design projects and project-based learning. Contact:

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Kevin Hunter Macfarlan John Brown University

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Kevin Hunter Macfarlan is a professor, Engineering Division.

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Senior Design Experience Using NASA’s Lunabotics Mining Competition: Best Practices and Evaluation of Student LearningFor the past two years, NASA has sponsored and hosted the Annual Lunabotics MiningCompetition. This competition is similar to the more familiar SAE Mini-Baja or ASCE ConcreteCanoe competitions. Since the inception of the NASA competition, our university hasparticipated in NASA’s Lunabotics Mining Competition and used the Lunabotics project as oneof several projects in our senior design sequence. This paper describes our experience with theNASA competition and formulates best practices for participation in the NASA competition.The paper also demonstrates how the NASA competition helps meet learning outcomes forsenior design and evaluates the learning of students involved in this team design competition.Formal assessments of ABET linked student learning outcomes show that the students in thisteam competition demonstrate about the same level of proficiency as students in industrysponsored projects.

Miller, B. M., & Holmes, W. C., & Macfarlan, K. H. (2012, June), Senior Design Experience Using NASA’s Lunabotics Mining Competition: Best Practices and Evaluation of Student Learning Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21909

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