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Assistance with developing ideas for Classroom Projects throughout Early College Academy
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What is it?

 

Engineering students work in teams to develop engineering projects testing their abilities at problem solving and creativity learning to pull together a range of disciplines showcasing their work.


How is it done?

  • Faculty defines project constraints and students are given a budget and timeline

  • Examples:  Building a clock that can accurately track time without electricity or mechanical parts; Construction of a suspension bridge composed of specific and limited materials; and Development of a water filtration system and estimate costs for mass production

  • College funds the budgets holding students accountable for all money spent

  • Students are graded on their presentations and problem solving abilities


What are the results?

  • Students must learn to work with a limited budget

  • Students practice brainstorming and learn to work as a cohesive team

  • Students learn to follow a timeline for project success

  • Students must learn to share responsibilities and divide up project requirements – research, budget management, materials accumulation, testing, presentation, etc.

  • Students learn real world engineering applications


What have we learned?

  • Best to give students a tight budget and for college to fund their projects.  Students take the budget constraints more seriously having to justify their costs

  • All ideas are creative and unique

  • Active learning is important to student success

  • Gives students “resume builder” opportunities providing them with “their first job”

  • Stronger teamwork makes better projects and better presentations

  • Not all students like teamwork or appreciate their team members

  • Best when the team has all members who participate equally

  • Give students project constraints from the beginning

  • Students tend to do a better job when they are dressed professionally for their presentations

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