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"Teams Teaching Engineering": A Flexible, Hands-on Project Promoting Maker Space Usage in Large Introductory Lecture Classes

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

ENT Division Technical Session: Making and Maker Spaces

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

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Paper Authors


Kimberly B. Demoret P.E. Florida Tech Orcid 16x16

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Kimberly Demoret is responsible for the Aerospace Engineering capstone design program at the Florida Institute of Technology, where she has been an Assistant Professor since 2015. Prior to joining Florida Tech, she worked for eight years at Kennedy Space Center on development of launch systems in support of NASA's space exploration goals. She also spent 20 years in the Air Force as a developmental engineer and manager, earning her PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1994. Her current research interests include engineering education, student motivation and retention, and the psychology of student teams. She is a retired Lieutenant Colonel and a licensed professional engineer in the State of Florida.

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Though experiential learning and hands-on “making” projects can encourage development of an entrepreneurial mindset and increase student engagement, such activities are often considered incompatible with larger lecture classes with over 50 students and no lab sections.

This paper describes an open-ended project called “Teams Teaching Engineering” that can be scaled up or down in complexity and is adaptable to a wide range of classes. In its most simple form, it can be used as a large homework assignment, where student teams build a visual aid illustrating a class concept, use it to teach someone outside the team, then write about what they have learned from the process. This simple version was successfully implemented in four semesters of a statics class with over fifty students and in a one-credit Introduction to Aerospace Engineering class with over 125 first-year students. After positive feedback, the Introduction to Aerospace assignment was expanded into a more elaborate semester-long project that added makerspace visits and an essay where students reflected upon the opportunities these spaces might offer to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset. Student surveys captured attitudes about the project and the university making facilities, and indicated that a large majority of the students were more likely to use the making facilities in the future because of the semester project. Student reflective essays also indicated that the students believed that making spaces added enormous value to the university and supported cultivation of the entrepreneurial mindset, specifically promoting curiosity, making connections, and creating value.

The “Teams Teaching Engineering” project may provide an experiential learning opportunity for classes that otherwise may not include a hands-on project while motivating incoming students to explore and use the university makerspaces and other fabrication facilities. When combined with a student surveys and a reflective essay assignment, it can also provide useful insights on how students perceive both the team project and the university’s makerspace ecosystem.

Demoret, K. B. (2020, June), "Teams Teaching Engineering": A Flexible, Hands-on Project Promoting Maker Space Usage in Large Introductory Lecture Classes Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--33965

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