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Using A Wind Power Assessment Project On The Hopi Reservation As A Problem Based Learning Experience For Undergrad And Graduate Students

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1375.1 - 11.1375.13



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Paper Authors

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Mark Henderson Arizona State University

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Bradley Rogers Arizona State University

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Robert Grondin Arizona State University

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Chell Roberts Arizona State University

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Scott Danielson Arizona State University

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Rajeswari Sundararajan Arizona State University

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

Using a Wind Power Assessment Project on the Hopi Reservation as a Problem-based Learning Experience for Undergrad and Graduate Students Introduction In August 2005, a new multi-disciplinary engineering program was started at Arizona State University’s Polytechnic Campus aimed at emphasizing the characteristics of a polytechnic education. Only first semester freshmen were admitted to the program with sophomores, juniors and seniors to be added in subsequent years. The need for this program was driven by the rapid population growth of the Phoenix metropolitan area, capacity restrictions at ASU’s Tempe campus and other state universities, forecasts of engineering student and industry demand, and a desire to develop a polytechnic campus at ASU. Unlike many curriculum development or reform efforts, the development of this new program began with a blank slate. This has given the founding faculty team unprecedented freedom and flexibility in the design of this program, resulting in the development of a novel and flexible curriculum addressing the needs of engineering graduates in the modern, global workplace. One key feature of this program is a PBL (problem-based learning) pedagogical emphasis. Each semester for four years, the engineering students enroll in a three- credit project course in which engineering principles are learned by doing a project. The facilities have been designed to support this emphasis. All engineering project courses are taught in a studio setting with space for teamwork and prototype fabrication including small shop tools, raw materials and lab instrumentation. The program received an unexpected opportunity in the summer of 2005 when the department was contacted by the Hopi Indian Tribe in Northern Arizona to request help in assessing wind energy power potential on the reservation. The Tribe is planning two new villages and, because of their remote location, are considering alternative energy generation techniques. Maps of wind energy Figure 1 Wind Speed Map of Arizona5 developed by NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association) show limited potential for wind turbine power generation on the reservation (Figure 1), but it is possible that micro-climate effects of topography can produce localized winds1. The Hopi Reservation is shown as a green outline in the northeast

Henderson, M., & Rogers, B., & Grondin, R., & Roberts, C., & Danielson, S., & Sundararajan, R. (2006, June), Using A Wind Power Assessment Project On The Hopi Reservation As A Problem Based Learning Experience For Undergrad And Graduate Students Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--185

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