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Solar Splash As A Capstone Design Project

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.365.1 - 2.365.10



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Paper Authors

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Scott Aten

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Derek T. Schade

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Kurt J. Colella

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

Session 3525


Kurt J. Colella U. S. Coast Guard Academy

Derek T. Schade USCGC FORWARD (WMEC-911)

Scott Aten USCGC SPAR (WLB-403)


The senior-level design project is the capstone experience for all graduating engineering students. Senior design is the culmination of the design integration process, where the student’s past experiences with design are called upon to successfully complete a demanding team design task. Design is an important component of the engineering profession and an integral part of the development of U.S. Coast Guard engineers.

At the U. S. Coast Guard Academy, design is considered a developmental experience3. The USCGA design philosophy introduces design as a process during the freshman year, stresses open ended problem solving the sophomore year, and incorporates component and system design the junior year. The senior year capstone experience serves as a medium for the student to demonstrate learned design skills and is the culmination of the students' design education.

The Solar Splash international solar powered boat design competition has provided Coast Guard Academy engineering students with an outstanding forum to successfully accomplish a comprehensive team design task. The Academy’s desired outcomes with regard to capstone engineering include designing, constructing and evaluating (within a reasonable budget) a finished-product engineering system within specified goals and constraints. This experience offers students the opportunity to exercise leadership through teamwork in solving a challenging, “real-life” problem. This experience also is a means of increasing the involvement of cadets in professional society activities, and serves to increase student interaction with other universities and Coast Guard and industry professionals.

This paper summarizes CGA’s participation in the Solar Splash event as a one semester senior design experience in 1995 and 1996. It has become evident that USCGA can successfully

Aten, S., & Schade, D. T., & Colella, K. J. (1997, June), Solar Splash As A Capstone Design Project Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6788

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