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Work in Progress: Project and Design-Based Introductory Engineering Course using Arduino Kits

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

First-Year Programs: Design in the First Year

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

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Paper Authors


Demetris Geddis Hampton University

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Demetris L. Geddis is an associate professor and Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Hampton University. He has extensive research experience in the areas of Integrated optoelectronics, Optics, Microelectronics, and Electromagnetics. He has worked as a Research and Design Engineer at Motorola and Bell laboratories. Also, he worked at NASA Langley Research Center as a NASA faculty fellow for the Nondestructive Evaluation Sciences Branch where he performed research in the area of optical fiber sensing for real time health monitoring of aerospace vehicles. In addition, Prof. Geddis was a Research Engineer at the Georgia Tech Research Institute where he fabricated scalable multiplexed ion traps for quantum computing applications. Current research interests and publications are in the areas of Photonics, Optoelectronics, Microelectronics, Heterogeneous thin film integration, single-fiber bi-directional communications, optical sensing, and ring lasers. Before joining Hampton University in 2017, Prof. Geddis was a faculty member at Norfolk State University for 12 years.

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Brian Aufderheide Hampton University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Brian Aufderheide is0 in Chemical Engineering at Hampton University. He completed his PhD in Chemical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His areas of expertise are in advanced control, design, and modeling of biomedical, chemical, and biological processes. He has consulted for both medical device and biotechnology companies. He was sole engineer and QC supervisor of a 40MM lb/yr custom extrusion company. He has over 15 years of experience in education developing over 25 new courses. He has supervised over 35 Industrial Design Projects. He is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer. He is dedicated in helping his students to succeed.

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Herman W. Colquhoun Jr. IBM Canada Ltd.

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Herman is both a designer within IBM Design Studios and a licensed Professional Engineer of Ontario (based out of Toronto, Canada) who is committed to delivering world-class products and services that drive customer adoption, loyalty and business results. He advocates an enterprise design thinking approach, which focuses on customer empathy, experimentation, design, and innovation. His experience spans brand-, web-, and product- design; information experience-, experimental- , and business-design; development consulting and business process reinvention. Herman's involvement in the area of human factors, engineering psychology, and industrial design and engineering has ranged from co-authoring journal papers and book chapters on Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, and human-centric design to being an active speaker, facilitator, teacher and advocate for both general and minority interests in STEM, customer empathy, innovation and design.

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This a research is a “Work in Progress.” Currently, the retention rate for engineering programs is too low. Some reasons why students change majors after the first year include student weaknesses in mathematics and physical sciences, and educators not providing enough hands-on interaction related to their selected engineering major. To help rectify the situation, the authors have revamped the Introductory Engineering course (EGR-101) to have more hands on “tinkering”, a design project, and mandatory peer-lead study groups. Students received their own Arduino kits and accessories, create Arduino-based measurement tools, and use them to conduct laboratory experiments where they measure various parameters such as temperature and voltage. These experiments generate both steady-state and dynamic results that are analyzed and reported by students. In addition, students were trained in an abbreviated version of human-centered Enterprise Design Thinking adopted from IBM and given a design project that incorporated the Arduino kits. Students had four weeks to complete the project which counted as their final. This approach aimed to demonstrate engineering principles in action so that students can make a better-informed major and career decision. Overall, preliminary results show that students in the course are more engaged and feel they have a clearer sense of engineering.

Geddis, D., & Aufderheide, B., & Colquhoun, H. W. (2020, June), Work in Progress: Project and Design-Based Introductory Engineering Course using Arduino Kits Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35679

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