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.
|Journal||ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings|
|State||Published - 2008|
|Event||2008 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Pittsburg, PA, United States|
Duration: Jun 22 2008 → Jun 24 2008