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Project Skills for Engineering Students - Michael McCarthy


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Project Skills for Engineering Students - Michael McCarthy

  1. 1. EXPERIMENT: F2009: Project Skills for First Year Engineering Students W2010: Internship on Senior Projects, Impact on Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics Learning J. Michael McCarthy and Daniel Flynn 2010 STEM Summit, Early Childhood through Higher Education Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering University of California, Irvine E98: Project Engineering
  2. 2. Literature on Project Education Peynircioglu, Z., (1989). The generation effect with pictures and nonsense figures. Acta Psychologica. 70, 153-160. When subjects draw pictures (read: actively engaged to create) their retention of the elements was increased illustrating the generation effect for non-verbal elements. Doolen, T. L., and Long, M. (2007). Identification of retention levers using a survey of engineering freshman attitudes at Oregon State University. European Journal of Engineering Education, 32(6), 721–734. Incorporated hands-on learning in the early engineering coursework to help provide students with confirmation that engineering is an engaging and active profession. Bhattacharyya, S., Bhattacharya, K. (2009). Technology-Integrated Project-Based Approach in Science Education: A Qualitative Study of In-Service Teachers’ Learning Experiences, Electronic. Journal of Science Education Volume 13(3), 113- 138. By directly engaging the learner with the science (or content-related) problem, a PBA can create authentic learning experiences through which learners discover a fact, concept, or principle on their own. Rehman, Said, Al-assaf (2009) An integrated approach for strategic development of Engineering curriculua: Focus o Students' Design Skills.  IEEE Transactions on Education 52(4) 470-481. There have been scattered efforts to deliver engineering design experience at various levels of undergraduate studies [10]–[21]. However, most of these attempts [10]–[21] focused on the design of an individual course, possibly enlightening the reader about that particular course and sometimes identifying the weaknesses and strengths of the course. E98: Project Engineering
  3. 3. Engineering Education Science Engineering Science Capstone Mathematics Laboratory Courses Project Professional Spine Science Engineering Science Capstone Mathematics Laboratory Courses Project Professional spine: Engagement, teamwork, retention, communication, competition, entrepreneurship, innovation. Our Experiment: Do project skills and experience improve learning? Freshman Science Engineering Science Capstone Project Mathematics Laboratory Courses Project E98: Project Engineering
  4. 4. Senior Projects at UCI For 2010 there 76 projects in five departments involving over 500 students E98: Project Engineering
  5. 5. Some Context 1905: 2005: • About 10,000 MEs in the U.S. • About 260,000 MEs in the U.S. • Average salary $5,000/yr ($100,000/yr today) • Average salary about $60,000 • A license to look for a job (7-yr half life) • Good job security • Average dentist salary is greater by 7 times • A dentist earned $2,500/yr Engineers have lost ground by more than an order of magnitude China and India are producing nearly 1 million engineers per year: • they are well educated; • they will work for $5,000/yr; and • in 5-10 years, there may be enough to supply the world’s need for engineers. Wm. Wolf (President, National Academy of Engineering) “The thing that distinguishes engineering from the sciences is design.” Design is all about decision making, not problem solving. George A. Hazelrigg, NSF 4 EECS Retreat: Engineering Education at UCI
  6. 6. Engineering v. • National Basketball Association, 30 teams, revenues of approx. $100m each, $3.13 billion in 2008/2009 • Major League Baseball, 30 teams, revenues of approx. $175m each, $5.2 billion in 2009. • The Recording Industries Association of America (RIAA) reports $8.4 billion revenue in 2008. • Parker-Hannifin Corp. reports $12.1 billion in revenue in 2008 ($9.0b in 2009). • Boeing Corp. reports $68.2 billion in revenue in 2009. • Ford Motor Co. Reports $112.3 billion in revenue in 2009 ($172.4b in 2007). • General Motors, Corp. reports $148.9 billion in revenue in 2008 ($179.9b in 2007). Engineering companies: • can have more than 10-20 employees for every 1 engineer; • can generate over $200,000 in revenue for every employee; (Parker $164,000, Boeing $399,000, Ford $565,000) • support service providers such as financial services, shipping and transportation, facilities and real estate, and human resources. The effort of engineers has a significant impact on the U. S. economy. 5 MAE 145: Machine Theory
  7. 7. From Science to Engineering ) f(x y=f(x) y= Data Question: What do I know about the world? Question: How do I make it work? These are two very different questions. 6 EECS Retreat: Engineering Education at UCI
  8. 8. Teach Project Skills? Senior projects with no skills training: • poor quality workspace: either at home or at UCI, • poor equipment: no training, no safety, • poor time management: all the work was left to the last minute, so it caused problems in other courses. • poor cost management: they spent a lot of their own money, • poor personnel management: a few did all the work and others did nothing. The outcome was a poorly functioning, low quality design that was displayed prominently at public events. Alumni returning to UCI say firmly and repeatedly: “ Their project experience was the ONLY thing in their UCI education that helped their career.” This should be of no surprise: • Admission policies select for the overachiever, the person in High School who would do the entire group project in order to ensure a good grade; • In-class group projects are small enough that this same behavior is successful at UCI; • This means that the our Engineering students have learned to organize a group project as a personal effort by the group leader; • Our undergraduate students find it emotionally difficult to break a task into components, assign responsibility to individuals, and then trust the individuals to accomplish their tasks on time. Attention by a faculty member of exactly the same type as needed by beginning graduate students completely overcomes this difficulty, and the outcome is remarkable. 7 EECS Retreat: Engineering Education at UCI
  9. 9. Freshman Project Course What you will learn: • Basic manufacturing procedures, emphasizing safety • Basic engineering procedures, emphasizing prediction and testing. • Team management using action items and scheduling. • Document preparation: drawings, reports, calculations and portfolios. E98: Project Engineering
  10. 10. Project Skills Training Week Lecture Lab Milestones 1 L1-Roster, Organization, Planning. EHS safety training, Personal safety equipment. Training Organize teams, videos: Handtools, Fasteners. Lab 1 : Handtools and fasteners 2 Technology Assessment. L2-Beam Lab 2: (a) Bending of beams. (b) Disassembly of soccer Technology assessment. Bending. robots and parts evaluation. 3 L3-Straight line vehicle dynamics. Training videos: Measurement and layout, Cutting, Parts drawings using Sketchup. grinding and filing. Lab 3: (a) Cutting and filing. (b) Evaluate deflection using Excel. Layout, drilling and jigs. 4 L4-Electric motors and batteries. Training video: soldering. Lab 4: (a) electrical wiring Weigh component parts. Estimate vehicle and soldering. weight. Evaluate acceleration performance. 5 L5-Materials. Tension and shear. Training video: Basic structures. Lab 5: Evaluate design Evaluate motor performance using Excel. Failure of beams and fasteners. drawings. Order parts and begin part manufacture. Measure output torque and evaluate vehicle performance. 6 L6-Vehicle mass properties, center of Lab 6: Assemble and test soccer robot. Estimate forces on soccer robot and gravity, moments of inertia. Alumni evaluate joint strength. Alumni Event event. Nov. 7. 7 L7-Vehicle Chassis and Suspension Lab 7: Mechanical verification. Size and stiffness requirements. Lateral and torsional deflection measurements. 8 Project status report. Lab 8: Dynamic testing: acceleration, braking, skid pad Test report on mechanical verification. and autocross. 9 Preliminary Design Review Lab 9: Soccer skills assessment, team assignments. Test report on dynamic performance. 10 Robot Soccer match: 2 on 2 with Test report on skill assessment. one reserve player. (two out of three wins.) Engineering Plaza. 11 Fall Design Review. Portfolios, Detailed design document. E98: Project Engineering
  11. 11. Robot Soccer E98: Project Engineering
  12. 12. The Experiment Treatment: a. Project skills training Fall 2009; b. Interns on Senior projects for Winter 2010. Measurement: • Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics grades Fall 09, Winter 10 and Spring 10. • Pre and post-assessment of Engineering fundamentals classified via Bloom. Evaluation: • Comparison of initial characteristics of treatment and control groups. • Comparison of performance in Mathematics, physics and chemistry. • Comparison of performance on Engineering fundamentals assessment. E98: Project Engineering
  13. 13. Summary • Engineering project education presents serious challenges in time, cost, personnel, resource management, equipment and maintenance, and safety. • Engineering faculty focus course preparation on engineering fundamentals, because the fundamentals do not change and they can be adapted to differing circumstances. • Forced to choose between engineering professionalism and engineering fundamentals, engineering faculty will always choose engineering fundamentals. Claim: Students must be shown how to adapt mathematics, science, and engineering fundamentals to the differing circumstances presented by real design problems. They do not learn this on their own. The hypothesis guiding our experiment: Project skills training and experiences ensure students learn mathematics, science and engineering fundamentals. E98: Project Engineering