A Team Approach to Freshmen Design Projects

Sandra Yost and Alan Scott Hoback

Conference: Proceedings of the Northcentral Conference-00, 2000/01


This paper describes the development and implementation of a new first-year engineering course aimed at introducing engineering students of all majors to the fundamentals of engineering design. In the past, an introduction to design was included in the 3 credit hour engineering graphics course, and was almost always taught by either a Mechanical or Civil Engineering faculty member. The new 2 credit hour course features a focus on engineering careers and the design process. It includes a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary teams and communication skills to prepare students for the workplace. A faculty member from each of the four engineering departments teaches one section of the course, all during the second semester of the first year. This allows the course to include a four-week segment in which each faculty member visits each section to conduct a design activity in his/her own discipline, this exposing every engineering student to a design activity and an instructor in every discipline. The last three or four weeks of the course is set aside for a mini-capstone design activity, chosen at the discretion of each instructor.

Link to full paper


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3. The robot kits used can be found at www.robix.com.