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The George Fox University Freshman Experience: A Projects Based Integrative Approach To Engineering Design

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Problem-Solving & Project-Based Learning

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1288.1 - 10.1288.14



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Paper Authors

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Neal Ninteman

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John Natzke

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

The George Fox University Freshman Experience: A Projects Based Integrative Approach to Engineering Design John Natzke and Neal Ninteman Math, Computer Science, and Engineering Department George Fox University Newberg, OR 97132


In Fall 2000 a new engineering major with electrical and mechanical concentrations was initiated at George Fox University, and with it a new freshman experience entitled Engineering Principles I & II. The two-course sequence provides an introduction to engineering problem solving and design for incoming freshmen, and covers the following topics: design methodologies, computer programming, engineering graphics, the visualization and modeling of real-world systems, and the history and ethics of the engineering profession. The course also equips the students in computer aided design tools, solid modeling and simulation software, and mathematics software applications. Though the subject matter is somewhat traditional, innovative ways have been introduced of structuring the class and engaging the first-year engineering students. The primary focus of the course is on five major team design projects during the year, in which the students utilize all of their gained knowledge and training, and apply the various engineering design methodologies and skills/tools. The design projects are presented in a variety of communication forms including written reports, oral presentations, and poster presentations. The course is structured to facilitate a highly hands-on active learning experience, with class meetings twice weekly in a lecture/lab setting for a total of three hours. In addition, both a machining skills component (six one-hour lab sessions in first semester) and an electronic instrument training component (six one-hour lab sessions in second semester) are being integrated into the course this year. The overall effectiveness and success of the course and the benefit to the George Fox engineering program and students will be presented and discussed.


The first engineering students enrolled at George Fox University in 1987, in what was a 3/2 dual- degree engineering program. In this program, the students attended George Fox for three years working toward an applied science degree, and then transferred to a engineering degree granting institution to complete the final two years of course work towards a bachelors in engineering. Since the start of the program, the engineering students were required to take the introductory programming course offered by the computer science program. The need was seen, however, to identify the engineering freshmen for the sake of retention. Otherwise they did not interact with an engineering faculty until their first physics course spring semester. Therefore, in Fall 1996 the first freshman engineering course was introduced at George Fox University, entitled Introduction to Computer Programming for Engineers. Such a course would also then be able to focus the programming assignments on engineering applications. In addition to structured programming techniques, the course began with an engineering design methodology component. Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Ninteman, N., & Natzke, J. (2005, June), The George Fox University Freshman Experience: A Projects Based Integrative Approach To Engineering Design Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14777

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