For the past few years, Clemson University has paired with local elementary schools as customers for design projects through which senior mechanical engineering students design, build, and deploy different equipment for use in the fifth grade classroom. The first year included deployment of windtunnels and the second year focused on manufacturing equipment. These design projects were the platforms through which the systematic engineering design process was taught to the mechanical engineering students, but with real world customers. This is in preparation for their final capstone design projects in which student teams solve industry sponsored problems. A key benefit of this service based learning project experience is that the collegiate students learn how to interact with customers in a low pressure and positive environment. The motivation for this type of project is much higher than with the “made up” teaching projects of the past, likely attributable to the empathy that develops with the live customers. This presentation will explore the challenges and lessons learned associated with this approach to teaching engineering design.
Presentation: Service Learning:Engineering Design and Build
Joshua D. Summers, Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University, co-directs the CEDAR Group (Clemson Engineering Design Applications and Research). Dr. Summers earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from ASU (design automation) and his MS (submarine design) and BS (fluidized bed design) from University of Missouri. He has worked at the Naval Research Laboratory (VR Lab and NCARAI). Dr. Summers’ research has been funded by government, large industry, and small-medium sized enterprises. His areas of interest include collaborative design, knowledge management, and design enabler development with the overall objective of improving design through collaboration and computation.
Clemson University Collaborations in Service-Learning is sponsored by the Clemson Service Alliance. The Service Alliance promotes the use of community service and service-learning by Clemson faculty in classes with both undergraduate and graduate students in all major disciplinary areas. The Collaborations radio webcasts are an opportunity to hear from some of our Clemson Service Alliance Faculty Fellows, their students, and their community partners about service-learning projects around the state of S.C., and to learn about the impact of these service-learning projects on the community and on student learning outcomes. In 2013-2014, we will be focusing on service –learning classes in five different disciplinary areas: Planning and Landscape Architecture, English, Languages, Teacher Education, and Nursing. Thank you for participating, and we hope that service-learning practitioners in both K-12 and higher education will find these workshops very helpful in the course development, implementation, and evaluation process. This program comes to you as a public service of Clemson University. There is no fee, and no registration is required. You may listen to the program and view the supplementary materials using only your computer. You will need to call in if you wish to speak on the live program.