Development of a freshman and pre-freshman research and design program in electrical engineering

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2 Scopus citations


It is well-known that involving students in activities and courses within their major early in their academic careers has a positive impact on student retention. We have developed several programs targeted at involving freshmen and pre-freshmen students in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) projects. Teams of 4 to 5 students were formed, with at least one ECE freshman, a high school student (or recent graduate), a junior or senior level ECE student, and a community college student. Students were paid as interns for a six-week summer session. An industry or community mentor and an ECE faculty member were assigned to each team. Projects included: re-engineering an adaptive bicycle to enable use by a physically disabled child; designing a fall detector to automatically detect a fall in an elderly person; and, implementing smart sensors to measure energy and water use in a residential environment. Students were required to give weekly presentations to the faculty members and other teams in a formal setting. In assessing the success of the program in general and of each team's progress, several factors were determined to be significant. The presence of a strong peer role model and an active industry mentor influenced the level of involvement of each team member and the progress each team made toward achieving their project goals.

Original languageEnglish
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2008
Event2008 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Pittsburg, PA, United States
Duration: Jun 22 2008Jun 24 2008


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