Introducing Hands-On Simulation Activities in Introduction to Engineering & Engineering Technology Class to Keep Students Engaged

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2008 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings

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Verma, Alok
Curricula; Education; Engineering research; Repair; Shipbuilding; Ships; Shipyards; Students; Teaching; Curriculum and Instruction; Engineering Education
conference paper description
Low enrollment and high attrition rates have often plagued Engineering and Engineering Technology programs. Part of this problem can be attributed to the lack of engaging hands-on activities during the first year of instruction. Most engineering and technology programs require students to take natural science, math and some general education courses during the first two years with minimal technical content. To maintain student's interest in the technical career path, it is important that students establish a link between the theoretical knowledge and its application to solve real life problems early in their learning experience. Simulation based activities have a proven record as instructional tool. Such activities have been used successfully in Lean Training programs in industry. Effectiveness of such activities as a pedagogical tool has been supported by research in the acquisition and retention of knowledge. The Shipbuilding and Repair Career Day Events (SBRCD) project was funded by the National Shipbuilding research Program to increase awareness about shipbuilding and repair careers. Four simulation activities developed under the grant were incorporated into freshmen engineering course to encourage creative thinking and keep students engaged while providing information about shipbuilding and repair processes.