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Teaching Freshman Engineering Design At A Two Year College

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.587.1 - 5.587.10



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Jianping Yue

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

Session 2586

Teaching Freshman Engineering Design at a Two-Year College

Jianping Yue

Department of Engineering Technology & Computer Science Essex County College Newark, New Jersey


This paper presents preliminary conclusions about teaching engineering design to freshman engineering and technology students at a two-year college. Many educators realize the need for freshman students to learn some basic skills in order to succeed later in various engineering and technology disciplines. These skills include computer applications software, oral and written communications, technical report writing, and data analysis. A number of institutions are also teaching the fundamentals of engineering design to freshmen. By working in teams to design practical products, students not only immediately apply the basic skills that they have just learned, but also are involved in the activities of the engineering design process, technical drawing and computer-aided design, team work, report writing, and presentation. This also allows students to become involved in engineering content at an early stage and helps them develop interests in engineering and technology disciplines. Therefore, they will have a better chance to successfully complete their programs. This paper also discusses some other related issues such as curriculum development, course content, teaching strategies, and appropriate means of assessment.

1. Introduction

A design project is usually a capstone course in traditional engineering education. To complete a design project, students are assumed to have completed all required courses and have mastered a comprehensive knowledge in discipline so that they can apply what they have learned to the design project. A new approach is to teach fundamentals of engineering design (FED) to freshman students. The first objective of this approach is to allow students to learn the engineering subject matter right from the beginning 5. When students spend several semesters in non-major courses without encountering engineering subjects, they may lose interest in engineering. Engaging them in engineering and technology courses at an early stage may keep their interest and improve the retention rate. The second objective is to provide an opportunity for students to work in teams and solve practical problems as professional engineers do. By designing a product, the students learn about the engineering design process, write and present technical reports, and use relevant software packages.

Yue, J. (2000, June), Teaching Freshman Engineering Design At A Two Year College Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8749

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