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Integrating Professional Skills in the 21st Century Engineering and Technical Curriculum

[+] Author Affiliations
John Birch, III

The Birch Group, LLC, New Britain, CT

Paola Jaramillo, Karen Wosczyna-Birch

CT College of Technology’s Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing, Hartford, CT

Ronald Adrezin

U.S. Coast Guard, New London, CT

Beth Richards

University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT

Paper No. IMECE2008-68811, pp. 293-298; 6 pages
  • ASME 2008 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 9: Engineering Education and Professional Development
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, October 31–November 6, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4870-8 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3840-2
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME


The Engineering Challenge for the 21st Century Program was initially based on concepts from the Transferable Integrated Design Engineering Education (TIDEE) model. The TIDEE model was developed in the mid 1990s to focus on continuous improvement of engineering design education. The primary thrust of the TIDEE model focuses on team-based activities that allow students to effectively develop the necessary skills to become qualified, productive, and successful engineers and technologists of the future. The Engineering Challenge Program focuses on project based learning in a team environment and targets two important educational groups: underrepresented students as well as faculty from high schools and community colleges in Connecticut. In order to further develop the students’ interpersonal and organizational skills, the Engineering Challenge Program expands on the TIDEE model through development of technical writing and professional skills including project management, teamwork skills, understanding behavioral diversity using DISC behavioral profiles, and personal accountability. Interdisciplinary teams of high school teachers and college faculty work with a CT-based management consultant group to deliver the program by “teaching teachers” effective methods to assess and coach teamwork in the classroom and labs. The Engineering Challenge Program has impacted over 250 students composed of high school and undergraduate students from community colleges and to a lesser degree four-year universities. By targeting underrepresented student participants, the program has been effective in engaging its participants in pursuing education and careers in STEM-related disciplines. Approximately 35% of the participants have been females and 53% of the participants’ non-Caucasian.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME



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