Asee peer logo

Service Learning Projects In 35 Core Undergraduate Engineering Courses

Download Paper |

Conference

2008 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Venturing Out: Service Learning, Study Abroad, and Criterion H

Tagged Division

Liberal Education

Page Count

20

Page Numbers

13.1074.1 - 13.1074.20

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/3914

Download Count

37

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

John Duffy University of Massachusetts Lowell

visit author page

Professor, Mechanical Engineering

visit author page

biography

Carol Barry University Massachusetts Lowell

visit author page

Associate Professor, Plastics Engineering

visit author page

biography

Linda Barrington University of Massachusetts-Lowell

visit author page

Service-Learning Coordinator, College of Engineering

visit author page

biography

David Kazmer University of Massachusetts-Lowell

visit author page

Professor, Plastics Engineering

visit author page

biography

William Moeller University of Massachusetts Lowell

visit author page

Professor Emeritus, Civil Engineering

visit author page

biography

Cheryl West University of Massachusetts Lowell

visit author page

Doctoral Student, Work Environment Department

visit author page

Download Paper |

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

Service-Learning Projects in 35 Core Undergraduate Engineering Courses Abstract

The College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) has integrated service-learning (S-L) into many of its core required undergraduate courses over the last three years. Projects that meet real community needs and that help students achieve academic objectives in the courses are difficult to create. Projects for 35 different undergraduate required courses are summarized to help faculty, staff, and students develop S-L projects for their own courses. Faculty at UML were encouraged to “start small rather than not at all.” Courses and projects include, for example: first-year introduction to engineering with 340 students in which student teams have designed and built moving displays illustrating various technologies for 60,000 middle school students that every year visit a history center which is part of a national park; sophomore kinematics in which student teams visit local playgrounds to assess safety using the equations for deceleration, forces, and impact from the course in a structured way; junior heat transfer courses in which analyses of heat loss and suggestions for heating system savings for a local food pantry, a city hall building, and community mental health center as well as the university itself were developed and presented to the stakeholders; sophomore materials in which student teams presented findings to the staff of a local textile history museum to help it begin updating its displays on recent developments in materials; junior fluids, junior circuits, senior microprocessor, senior design of machine elements, and senior capstone design are having students design and build various parts of an automated canal lock opener for a local national park. Many of the projects are low-cost and can be implemented by individual faculty members without the requirement of a formal institutional program. These S-L projects are integrated into a wide variety of core courses (and not just design courses) and represent typically from 10 to 20% of the grade.

Introduction

We define service-learning as a hands-on learning approach in which students achieve academic objectives in a credit-bearing course by meeting real community needs. In engineering the students become better professionals and better citizens while the community benefits. There are many other definitions in the literature, for example, service-learning is the integration of academic subject matter with service to the community in credit-bearing courses, with key elements including reciprocity, reflection, coaching, and community voice in projects (Jacoby, 1996)1. Service-learning (S-L) has been shown to be effective in a large number of cognitive and affective measures, including critical thinking and tolerance for diversity, and leads to better knowledge of course subject matter, cooperative learning, recruitment of under-represented groups in engineering, retention of students, and citizenship (as shown below), as well as helping meet the well-known ABET EC2000 criteria (a)-(k) (ABET, 2007)2. Service-learning team projects have the potential to ensure students learn and demonstrate these qualities in addition to the ability to apply engineering to the design and analysis of systems and experiments. Instead of adding more courses to satisfy ABET requirements, these criteria are met by S-L projects in existing core courses. For example, having community partners on S-L projects essentially guarantees that students will work on multidisciplinary teams. With the correct structure of S-L projects, the students will examine the impacts of engineering solutions

Duffy, J., & Barry, C., & Barrington, L., & Kazmer, D., & Moeller, W., & West, C. (2008, June), Service Learning Projects In 35 Core Undergraduate Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/3914

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: © 2008 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