Preparing Globally and Socially-conscious Engineers: International and Human-centered Design Projects and Activities in the First Year

Janis P. Terpenny, Richard M. Goff, Vinod K. Lohani, Jennifer Mullin, and Jenny Lo
Department of Engineering Education, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg VA 24061, USA

In recent years, a number of innovative activities involving early design/hands on experiences have been introduced into first and second semester freshman courses at Virginia Tech. The objective is to excite freshmen about the engineering profession and to provide early exposure to topics essential to their preparation as globally and socially conscious engineers. A number of initiatives including a sustainable development design project, study abroad presentations, and a world population activity have been implemented in the first course. In the second course, a design project with a focus on assistive technologies for third world countries has been implemented.


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