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Work in Progress: The Steam-Powered Pumpkin Patch – How an Extracurricular Project is Shedding Light on Professional Skills Development

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Conference

2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015

ISBN

978-0-692-50180-1

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Community Engagement in Engineering Education Projects

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

26.1758.1 - 26.1758.12

DOI

10.18260/p.25094

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/25094

Download Count

98

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Paper Authors

biography

Michael Thomas Pitcher The University of Texas, El Paso

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Mike Pitcher is the Director of Academic Technologies at The University of Texas at El Paso. He has had experience in learning in both a traditional university program as well as the new online learning model, which he utilizes in his current position consulting with faculty about the design of new learning experiences. His experience in technology and teaching started in 1993 as a student lab technician and has continued to expand and grow over the years, both technically as well as pedagogically. Currently he works in one of the most technically outstanding buildings in the region where he provides support to students, faculty, and staff in implementing technology inside and outside the classroom, researching new engineering education strategies as well as the technologies to support the 21st century classroom (online and face to face). He also has assisted both the campus as well as the local community in developing technology programs that highlight student skills development in ways that engage and attract individuals towards STEAM and STEM fields by showcasing how those skills impact the current project in real-world ways that people can understand and be involved in. As part of a university that is focused on supporting the 21st century student demographic he continues to innovate and research on how we can design new methods of learning to educate both our students and communities on how STEM and STEAM make up a large part of that vision and our future.

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biography

Pedro Arturo Espinoza University of Texas, El Paso

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Pedro worked in the manufacturing industry as a Quality Control Engineer for some years before acquiring his current position as an Instructional Technologist at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). For over 10 years in this role, he has worked with a team of managers that oversee various learning environments and systems in the Academic Technologies Department at UTEP. He leads a group of more than 40 multidisciplinary student employees that help support a wide range of technologies for classrooms and other learning spaces, including videoconferencing rooms.
In addition to teaching a Foundations of Engineering course, Pedro also provides technology training on Mac OS X, CISCO networking and various other technology topics. He also enjoys the role of social media coordinator for Academic Technologies to showcase the department’s services and the dedicated students and staff members who work there. Pedro received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science in Engineering with a concentration in Engineering Education from UTEP.

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Hugo Gomez University of Texas, El Paso

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Mr. Hugo Gomez works as an Instructional Technologist at the University of Texas at El Paso, he is focused on expanding the professional and technical skill sets of our students and faculty community to better prepare them for the world of technology today and tomorrow. He works alongside a wide assortment of students, faculty and staff on campus to make sure their technology toolsets are up to date. Furthermore, Hugo provides workshops to over half of the student population at UTEP and as such, has been instrumental in providing the behind the scenes support to all these courses. Mr. Gomez also collaborates in the Learning Lab team to explore and implement new educational strategies in the classroom. Mr. Gomez has a Masters Degree in Engineering Education from The University of Texas at El Paso. He has participated in the UTEACH summer program as a Technology Instructor in which he provided workshops on website design, movie creation and computer networking. In addition, Mr. Gomez teaches UNIV1301 Foundations of Engineering, were students learn academic, personal and engineering skills, among many other abilities that help them understand their opportunities and responsibilities as engineering students.

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Herminia Hemmitt University of Texas, El Paso

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Mrs. Herminia Hemmitt is part of the Learning Environments team in Academic Technologies at The University of Texas at El Paso. She is responsible for coordinating classroom technology upgrades and implementations to ensure project deadlines and anticipated goals are met. Her educational background in organizational and corporate communication is utilized in consultations with faculty and staff about their learning environments in order to correctly match them to appropriate learning spaces or adapt existing spaces to meet their pedagogical and technological needs. Her focus is on the specific user to make sure that classroom needs, technical needs, and/or event needs are met.

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Oscar Antonio Perez University of Texas, El Paso

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Mr. Oscar Perez received his B.S. and Masters in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso with a special focus on data communications. Awarded the Woody Everett award from the American Society for engineering education August 2011 for the research on the impact of mobile devices in the classroom. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Mr. Perez has been teaching the Basic Engineering (BE) – BE 1301 course for over 7 years. Lead the design for the development of the new Basic Engineering course (now UNIV 1301) for engineering at UTEP: Engineering, Science and University Colleges. Developed over 5 new courses, including UTEP technology & society core curriculum classes specifically for incoming freshman with a STEM background. Mr. Perez was awarded the 2014 “University of Texas at El Paso award for Outstanding Teaching”. Mr. Perez has eight years of professional experience working as an Electrical and Computer Engineer providing technical support to faculty and students utilizing UGLC classrooms and auditoriums. Mr. Perez is committed to the highest level of service to provide an exceptional experience to all of the UGLC guests. Mr. Perez strongly believes that by providing exceptional customer service that UGLC patrons will return to make use of the various services the university offers. Mr. Perez enjoys working on the professional development of the students’ employees at the UGLC. He shares with his student employees his practical experience in using electrical engineering concepts and computer technologies to help in everyday real-world applications. Mr. Perez has worked with the UTeach program at UTEP since its creation to streamline the transition process for engineering students from local area high schools to college by equipping their teachers with teaching strategies and technologies each summer. Oscar enjoys teamwork, believes in education as a process for achieving life-long learning rather than as a purely academic pursuit. He currently works on maintaining, upgrading and designing new computer classroom systems. Mr. Perez is inspired because he enjoys working with people and technology in the same environment.

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Hector Erick Lugo Nevarez University of Texas, El Paso

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Mr. Hector Lugo works as a Student Technology Success Coordinator at The University of Texas at El Paso. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. He is currently enrolled as a Master of Science with a Major in Electrical Engineering.
His motivation and passion pushes him into research in wireless communication, especially in Bluetooth Low Energy and Near Field Communication as well as building projects and fostering innovation with faculty and staff members. As part of the Learning Environments division, the idea to develop, oversee and assess engaging students to expand their knowledge and creativity by innovating new technologies application for Engineering Education is currently under way to engage the university and the community.
Concluding, Mr. Lugo’s ambition is to encourage students to focus in science, technology and engineer abilities in order to expand their professional potential.

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Randy Hazael Anaya University of Texas, El Paso

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Randy Anaya, Instructional Technologist at the University of Texas at El Paso. Received a BFA degree in Graphic Design with a minor in Multimedia design from the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Received a BA in Media Advertising degree at UTEP and is currently enrolled as a Master of Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis on the use of art and technology in teaching and learning.
Randy works on research and development of applying the creative process to workshops and trainings to foster student engagement; he has worked extensively in trainings on media production software like iBooks editor to promote student e-portfolios. He is also doing extensive research and deployment of emerging technologies to redefine the class environment, mentoring and excellence through student interaction.

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Peter Golding University of Texas, El Paso

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Director, Center for Research in Engineering & Technology Education

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Abstract

WORK IN PROGRESS: THE STEAM POWERED PUMPKIN PATCH –HOW A COLLABORATIVE EXTRACURRICULUAR PROJECT ISREDFINING MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAMWORK As the focus continues to shift from STEM to STEAM; a unique multidisciplinary project at[name removed] is shedding light on how extracurricular community projects can play a role inhelping students within the fields of art, graphic design, electrical engineering, computer science,mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, and the newly emerging field of computationalmedia build the skills to transverse a world of multidisciplinary interchanges. Today's engineers need more than just hard technical skills education; they will contribute morefully to their job and profession when armed with the professional skills including communicationproficiencies that accrue from working in teams and multidisciplinary interchanges. Such practicalskill sets take time and require contextual application to develop. We are in the first year ofexploring how a traditional extracurricular project at [name removed] is being re-designed to beinstrumental in developing those skills. We report on the first year of a longitudinal multi-yearproject to evaluate and design a problem based extracurricular activity in which students from bothengineering and non-engineering majors collaborate to present a community exhibit using theirwide ranging technical and artistic backgrounds. The project, a community display in which students collaborate to design a living, talking, andinteractive pumpkin patch; focuses on how problem based multidisciplinary teams both extend theknowledge about the field of Engineering to the community in an engaging way as well as helpingus to gain insight into the development processes of soft skill sets within such. The initial methodology implemented for the first year is a student self-assessment survey to seehow students prior to engagement in the project define their soft skill sets, knowledge of basics ofdesign, construction, electrical systems, robotics, etc. A follow-up survey will be conductedfollowing the conclusion of the community exhibit (which will be in mid-November 2014) toassess the student’s perceived areas of growth and knowledge transfer on those same skill sets. Apre and post attitudinal survey will also be administered to determine the perceived value effect ofthe experience. Student teams will also get a community exhibit score based on communityparticipants’ evaluation of the use of multidisciplinary skills, presentation, ability to explain theproject in layman’s terms and overall exhibit quality and showmanship. At the conclusion of this first year we are looking to define a set of assessment guidelines aswell as to refine the problem based approach of the exhibit to include additional dynamics and/orrequirements to refine specific skill set areas that seem to be under utilized/developed during suchan experience. We are also focused on perceived student impact/value of the project and how suchshapes student and community support. Following years will focus on community impact andfurther refinement of the parameters of the project with a shifting focus towards computationalmedia and possible coursework development to incorporate the concepts of this newly emergingfield.

Pitcher, M. T., & Espinoza, P. A., & Gomez, H., & Hemmitt, H., & Perez, O. A., & Lugo Nevarez, H. E., & Anaya, R. H., & Golding, P. (2015, June), Work in Progress: The Steam-Powered Pumpkin Patch – How an Extracurricular Project is Shedding Light on Professional Skills Development Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.25094

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: © 2015 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