Project-Based Learning in Engineering Education

Project-based learning is an instructional method in which students learn a range of skills and subject matter in the process of creating their own projects. Sometimes, these projects are solutions to a real-world problem. But what is most important in project-based learning is that students learn in the process of making something. They work in groups and bring their own experiences, abilities, learning styles and perspectives to the project. 

The following list of project-based learning modules were developed using CDIO theories where students worked through conceive, design, implement and operate stages.

Flight Vehicle and Aircraft Systems Engineering Project

Develop a flight vehicle that will serve as an airborne sensing platform for high precision antenna calibration. This is a year long (2 semesters) class. 

NASA Rocket Project

Students conceive, design, and build (implement) Estes Model rockets and launch (operate) them with the goal of launching the most massive payload possible to 300ft at minimal cost. This project spans approximately 1 month and is the primary design project for the course.

Skyscraper Project

Groups of 5 to 13 design and fabricate a skyscraper capable of sustaining a load. Variable aspects of the project include but are not limited to an allocated budget, capability of the structure to handle an “earthquake,” the use of the budget to purchase real estate and intergroup communication. This project is targeted for first and second year engineering students. With variations, it can be used for third year students as well. 

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