← Back to Publications

Creation and Implementation of a Project Framework to Improve Cornerstone Engineering Design

N. Meisel, C. McComb, J. Menold, and S. Ritter
2019, ASEE First-Year Engineering Education Conference

Introduction to Engineering Design (EDSGN 100) acts as a gateway engineering course for over 3800 students across 20 Penn State campuses each year. Recently, the course has incorporated six educational modules, which cover topics from creativity to professional communication to making. However, these modules require a unifying experience so that the students are able to perceive how the content from the individual modules coalesces to form the unique identity of an engineer. To address this need, a new framework is proposed to guide the creation and implementation of an 8-week long design challenge within EDSGN 100. This framework identifies a series of 8 project characteristics necessary to create a clear connection between the content from each of the individual modules and the successful execution of a world-class engineering design project. This ensures that faculty-developed design projects are of an appropriate scope and context in order to provide proper scaffolding to support the six individual educational modules. This paper presents findings resulting from pilot studies conducted in five separate sections of EDSGN 100.