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Use of the Arduino Platform in Fundamentals of Engineering

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

First-Year Programs: Integrating Computing into the First Year

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

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Paper Authors


Djedjiga Belfadel Fairfield University

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Djedjiga Belfadel is an Assistant Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at Fairfield University. She obtained her Ph.D. degree from University of Connecticut in 2015, in electrical engineering. Her interests include embedded systems, target tracking, data association, sensor fusion, machine vision, engineering service, and education.

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Marcia Arambulo Rodriguez Fairfield University

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Marcia Arambulo Rodriguez is the Assistant Dean of the School of Engineering at Fairfield University. She received her M.S. in Management of Technology from Fairfield University in 2015 and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Universidad Mayor de San Andres in La Paz, Bolivia.

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Michael Zabinski Fairfield University


Ryan Munden Fairfield University

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Dr. Ryan Munden teaches engineering at Fairfield University. He received his PhD in Applied Physics from Yale University and a BS in Physics from Stetson University. His areas of interest include semiconductor nanowires, nanotechnology education, first-year engineering initiatives, and engineering service, outreach, and education.

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Teaching first year engineering classes is a big challenge given the importance of these classes in the engineering education. The traditional highly demanding first year engineering curriculum focused on engineering thinking and problem solving with limited content of basic skills, is no longer inspiring to incoming students.

Our aim is to make one of these classes more interesting Fundamentals of Engineering, by creating a hands-on and fun-to-learn environment designed to expose students to the application of engineering principles. Project-based courses attempt to resolve the tension between providing training in the fundamentals of engineering and problem solving, with the need for motivating and engaging students. Active learning in freshman year courses is also believed to improve retention and appeal to more diverse population of students. The Arduino is an open-source hardware platform that has recently gained a wide following among hobbyist and students for its ease of use and the ability to build interactive projects. We report on a seven-year exercise in using the Arduino platform to build a series of hands-on projects. We have used these projects in two course instances, and have obtained detailed student feedback, which we analyze and present in this paper.

Belfadel, D., & Rodriguez, M. A., & Zabinski, M., & Munden, R. (2019, June), Use of the Arduino Platform in Fundamentals of Engineering Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33491

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