Engaging first-year students with a hands-on course using student-driven projects

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5 Scopus citations


This evidence-based practice paper describes the development of a second-semester project-based learning course for freshmen in the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. The course grew from a collegiate effort to develop community and equip freshmen with the knowledge, experiences and skills they need to be successful and remain engaged in science and engineering. It builds on a first-semester required course for freshmen that addresses vital topics such as choosing a major, becoming engaged in activities, understanding diversity and developing a resume. The topic of this paper is a second semester, hands-on, elective project-based learning course that is designed to give freshmen the chance to explore their interests and experience the satisfaction of completing a challenging, student-driven team project.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019
Event126th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Charged Up for the Next 125 Years, ASEE 2019 - Tampa, United States
Duration: Jun 15 2019Jun 19 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the 3M Foundation for their generous support of the 3M Chair in Experiential Learning in the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota. The authors also thank Profs. Aaron Massari, Paul Strykowski, Bryan Mosher and John Sartori as well as the teaching assistants for the course for their participation, enthusiasm and ideas. Lastly, the authors thank Ben Guengerich and the staff at the Anderson Student Innovation Labs for their support.

Funding Information:
Susan Mantell is the James J. Ryan Professor and Head of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota. Prof. Mantell received her BS and PhD degrees from Stanford University, and her MS degree from Northeastern. Her research investigates the interrelationship between polymer morphology and mechanical performance. Prof. Mantell is the recipient of several research and teaching awards including the National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award and the University of Minnesota Morse Alumni Award for Teaching.

Funding Information:
Prof. Kia Bazargan is an Associate Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Minnesota. Has has published over 70 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters related to FPGAs and VLSI computer-aided design. He received his Bachelors degree in Computer Science from Sharif University, Tehran, Iran, and the MS and PhD degrees in Electrical and Computer engineering from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, in 1998 and 2000, respectively. He has served as an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on CAD of Integrated Circuits and Systems, and as a guest coeditor of the ACM Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems Special Issue on Dynamically Adaptable Embedded Systems. He has served on the technical program committee of a number of IEEE/ACM sponsored conferences (e.g., Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), Field Programmable Logic (FPL), Design Automation Conference (DAC), International Conference on Computer-Aided Design (ICCAD), and Asia and South Pacific DAC). He served as the program chair of the FPGA’18 and the general chair of the FPGA’19 conference. He has received a US National Science Foundation (NSF) Career Award.

Publisher Copyright:
© American Society for Engineering Education, 2019


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