Challenges of Engineering Project

Even with all of the resources I have for planning projects, sometimes the best ones come from just being in the right place at the right time. A couple of months ago, I took some students to the first National Science Fair in Washington DC and we had a great time seeing all of the universities and organizations who had shown up to renew the country's commitment to STEM.

One of my favorite exhibitions was with Disney/Imagineering and the National Institutes of Health. They were partnered to demonstrate innovation in one of the critical Challenges of Engineering that were produced by the National Academies of Engineering. Some examples are cyber security, solar energy, personalized learning, and 11 more.

When I came home, my humanities teaching partner mentioned to me that she would like to work on the technical writing skills of our students. An idea for a project was born and after some collaborating, we had decided that we would have the students create research paper/posters based upon the Challenges of Engineering.

This was a valuable project for many reasons:

  • It did help the students learn about these important topics that threaten the survival of our society as we know it. Students began with almost no knowledge of these topics and yet at the exhibition were able to impress community members we had invited with the depth and breadth of their knowledge.
  • Students worked diligently to research these topics using college level resources and understand it in a way that they could explain it to others.
  • This provided them an opportunity to create beautiful work through feedback and refinement.
  • We set a high standard of excellence, our model and criteria were based upon the same used for Graduate School work, but the students rose to meet our expectations. 
If you would like to see the finished posters the students made click here for the link.
The instructions, template, etc can be found here.