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Virtual Engineering Summer Camp in the age of COVID-19 Pandemic

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ASEE 2021 Gulf-Southwest Annual Conference


Waco, Texas

Publication Date

March 24, 2021

Start Date

March 24, 2021

End Date

March 26, 2021

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Paper Authors


Anveeksh Koneru University of Texas Permian Basin

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Dr. Anveeksh Koneru is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas Permian Basin. He is the coordinator for the Engineering Summer Camp at the College of Engineering. His primary research includes thermoelectrics, photocatalytic water splitting, and catalysis.

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George Nnanna P.E. University of Texas of the Permian Basin

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George Nnanna is the Inaugural Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Texas Permian Basin. The College has 503 students and four departments - chemical, electrical, mechanical, and petroleum engineering. The new state-of-the-art $55M, 105, 000 sq. ft. engineering building located at the Midland campus houses all the departments including the new Water-Energy Nexus Institute.

Nnanna served as Department Head of Mechanical and Civil Engineering at Purdue University Northwest for seven years, and for nine years, he was the Meyer Professor and Director of Purdue Water Institute. As Professor, he has supervised 93 Undergraduate/MS/PhD Thesis.

He is a Registered Professional Engineer, member of Engineering Honor societies, Fulbright Specialist, Engineering Accreditation Program Evaluator, and Associate Editor of the Heat Transfer Engineering Journal.

He has generated $8.9M in external research funding, over 70 technical publications that has been cited over 1000+ times. He received “Best Paper Award” in the ASME conference, 1st Place Award in 2012/13 ASHRAE project, 14 research awards from Purdue Northwest, and 4 US Patents.

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COVID-19 pandemic greatly affected the learning experience of students. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many engineering programs worldwide organized engineering summer camps for K-12 students in the summer of every year. These camps benefit K-12 students by providing a good insight into the introduction to engineering and also inducing intellectual curiosity in them through hands-on projects. Most of these sessions usually took place in a face to face setting versus the virtual mode of instruction. In summer 2020, the majority of the engineering summer camps were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The College of Engineering at the University of Texas Permian Basin organized the virtual engineering summer camp after shipping the required project kits to the students, thereby providing step-by-step instruction of performing the project virtually while also proving hands-on experience for better learning. To our knowledge, this mode of virtual summer camp that provided a hands-on experience to K-12 students was uniquely implemented in the nation by UTPB College of Engineering. This paper provides the ideas implemented to overcome several challenges, the techniques that rightly helped in conducting the virtual summer camp with hands-on experience, and methods to assess student learning.

Koneru, A., & Nnanna, G. (2021, March), Virtual Engineering Summer Camp in the age of COVID-19 Pandemic Paper presented at ASEE 2021 Gulf-Southwest Annual Conference, Waco, Texas.

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