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“Who Is The Biggest Pirate?” Design, Implementation, And Result Of A Robotics Competition For General Engineering Freshmen

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Conference

2006 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

FPD4 -- Real-World Case Studies & Projects

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count

14

Page Numbers

11.1465.1 - 11.1465.14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/322

Download Count

23

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Paper Authors

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Jason Yao East Carolina University

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Jianchu (Jason) Yao received his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Kansas State University in 2005. Dr. Yao joined East Carolina University as an Assistant Professor in August, 2005. Prior to this appointment, he served as a Research Engineer in China from 1995 to 2001. His research interests include wearable medical devices, telehealthcare, bioinstrumentation, control systems, and biosignal processing. Dr. Yao is a member of the American Society of Engineering Education.

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Gene Dixon East Carolina University

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Gene Dixon is an Assistant Professor and Director of ECU Engineering, Inc. at East Carolina University. His research interests include engineering management themes including leadership, followership, team work, organizational culture and trust.  Before coming to ECU, he worked in various positions in industry for Chicago Bridge and Iron, E. I. DuPont, Westinghouse Electric, CBS, Viacom and the Washington Group.  Dr. Dixon received a BS in Material Engineering from Auburn University, an MBA from Nova Southeastern University and PhD in Industrial and System Engineering and Engineering Management from The University of Alabama Huntsville. He is currently writing a book on the logistical flow of worship services from both a worship follower’s and a worship leader’s perspective.  

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William Howard East Carolina University

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William E.(Ed) Howard is an Assistant Professor of Engineering at East Carolina University. Prior to joining ECU, he was a faculty member and program coordinator at Milwaukee School of Engineering. Howard has fourteen years of industrial experience in design and project engineering functions. He received BS and MS degrees from Virginia Tech, and his PhD from Marquette University. Howard is a registered Professional Engineer in Wisconsin.

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Ric Williams

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Rick Williams is an Assistant Professor of Engineering at East Carolina University. Prior to joining ECU, he was appointed as an Associate Research Professor at Auburn University. Williams has sixteen years of industrial experience in design, research and development and project management functions. He received his BS and MS degrees from Georgia Tech and his PhD from Auburn University. Williams is a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia.

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Keith Williamson East Carolina University

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Dr. Keith Williamson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Technology Systems at East Carolina University. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University. He has received numerous awards for teaching and research. Dr. Williamsos current research is focused on University/K12 partnerships and thermo-mechanical processing.

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Geoffrey Dieck East Carolina University

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Steve McLawhorn East Carolina University

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

“Who is the Biggest Pirate?” Design, Implementation, and Result of a Robotics Competition for General Engineering Freshmen

Abstract

A systems approach to engineering topics requires an interactive process that combines instructional methodologies, coherent curricula, and learning challenges that develop student understanding over time. In the general engineering program at East Carolina University (ECU), freshmen are introduced to engineering topics that include solid modeling, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and design engineering. Robots inherently integrate all these disciplines. At ECU, student teams are used in a cohort learning environment to build robots. The robot building project serves as a platform for experiential learning in engineering disciplines and also serves to develop problem solving skills, interpersonal skills, and ethics. A robotics competition is embedded into the introductory class work to increase levels of participation, interest and challenge for the freshmen. During classroom and laboratory exercises leading up to the competition, students build mobile robots to compete in a treasure-hunting game. Faculty in each engineering discipline use the robot project to explain topics in their lectures while the project serves as a common platform for the students to apply knowledge learned in the classroom. When students encounter difficulty during their project, they come back to the classroom for solutions. This bi-conduit, project-driven learning process facilitates student understanding of engineering concepts and correlates these concepts to real-world applications. This paper describes the strategy to design and methods to implement the semester-long project. Assessment methodology is described in terms of inter- and intra-faculty and students evaluation.

Background

Industries distributed among the small towns of eastern North Carolina have difficulty attracting and retaining engineering talent with a range of specialties in narrowly defined fields. “Instead of the traditional engineering disciplines, these operations require engineering generalists with a strong theoretical background, broad knowledge in a range of areas, and specific skills in problem solving to give them a sound but flexible base for managing and implementing technology change and operations.”1 East Carolina University initiated a bachelor’s degree program in general engineering (BSE) to fill this requirement. The BSE curriculum is implemented “through a concept and program identified as the Integrated Collaborative Engineering Educational Environment, or ICE3 (pronounced “ice cube”). The ICE3 program… emphasizes a broad but highly integrated foundation of engineering fundamentals and engineering sciences necessary for a general engineer.”1

Freshmen students of the eastern North Carolina region start their college study with very diverse high school backgrounds. Given the diversity of knowledge levels, advanced theoretical analysis is not desired in an introductory project. However, to quickly acquaint the freshman students to the cohort learning environment of ECU’s unique engineering program, the first core course is designed to introduce basic, yet important, elements of engineering practice. The introductory

Yao, J., & Dixon, G., & Howard, W., & Williams, R., & Williamson, K., & Dieck, G., & McLawhorn, S. (2006, June), “Who Is The Biggest Pirate?” Design, Implementation, And Result Of A Robotics Competition For General Engineering Freshmen Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/322

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2006 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015