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Problem-Based Collaborative Projects In and Between Freshman and Sophomore Engineering Courses

[+] Author Affiliations
Asad Azemi, Ivan Esparragoza

Pennsylvania State University

Paper No. IMECE2005-81693, pp. 347-351; 5 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Innovations in Engineering Education: Mechanical Engineering Education, Mechanical Engineering/Mechanical Engineering Technology Department Heads
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, November 5 – 11, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Mechanical Engineering Education
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4232-0 | eISBN: 0-7918-3769-6
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


This work describes our effort at the Delaware County Campus of Penn State to enhance the freshman engineering design and graphics and sophomore engineering computer programming courses by incorporating problem-based collaborative robotics projects in and between these courses. The robotics project in the engineering design and graphics course, ED&G 100, focuses on the mechanical and overall design aspect of a robot, and the projects in the engineering computer programming course, CMPSC 201, focus on the programming aspects. Lego Mindstorms and Handy Board controller have been chosen for building the robots and programming them, respectively. The collaborative projects have been designed with the intention of increasing learning, through collaboration among students and faculty. The projects also encourage teamwork by working with students from different disciplines, promote analytical skills by working to solve an open-ended problem, and provide practical experience and learning by doing through working with robots. To emphasize the importance of communication skills, at the end of the semester each team is also expected to present a report for the final project using PowerPoint. A detailed discussion of this collaborative work and the advantages and disadvantages of such an approach is discussed.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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