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Teaching Electronics to First-year Engineering Students

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

First Year Programs Division Poster Session: The Best Place to Really Talk about First-Year Education

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1473.1 - 26.1473.9



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Paper Authors


Lizzie Santiago West Virginia University

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Lizzie Y. Santiago, Ph.D., is a teaching assistant professor for the freshman engineering program in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. She holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and has postdoctoral training in neural tissue engineering and molecular neurosciences. She teaches freshman engineering courses and supports the outreach and recruiting activities of the college. Her research interests include neural tissue engineering, stem cell research, absorption of air pollutants in human upper airways, attrition and university retention, increasing student awareness and interest in research and engineering, STEM education, and recruitment and retention of women and minorities.

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Oyemayowa Luqman Abioye West Virginia University

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Oyemayowa L. Abioye is a graduate student in the department of Industrial Management and Systems Engineering at the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, West Virginia University. As a graduate teaching/research assistant, he works with the WVU freshman engineering program, where he teaches engineering problem-solving skills and performs academic research. He holds an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and a master's degree in industrial safety management.

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Teaching Electronics to First Year Engineering StudentsTo decrease attrition in engineering, researchers recommend the use of in class activities aimedat engaging students in the classroom. However, it can be difficult to incorporate engineeringprojects and activities in first year engineering courses due to the lack of engineering knowledgein first year students. For first year engineering students, projects needs to contain basicengineering concepts and simple math.This paper describes a module developed to teach electronics to first year engineering studentsenrolled at a large land grant university in the mid-Atlantic region. The module was integratedin a first year engineering problem solving course and was merged with fundamental conceptstaught using excel. In this module, students learned about the basic components of an electroniccircuit, and were engaged in hands on activities using resistors, breadboards, and other circuitcomponents. The module contained three main activities that involved the design of anautomatic street light control system, a clap switch, and a water level indicator. Ohms andKirchoff’s laws were introduced and students practiced the use of these laws in homework and inclass activities.Students were surveyed before and after the module was completed to understand how muchinformation they learned from the module, and to assess if the module had an influence instudents’ engineering identity and their perception of engineering as a career choice.This paper provides a detailed explanation on projects and hands on activities completed in themodule. Data on student learning and satisfaction is discussed. Any engineering programinterested in incorporating electronics into their first year course will benefit from this work.

Santiago, L., & Abioye, O. L. (2015, June), Teaching Electronics to First-year Engineering Students Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24810

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