Share the Future IV

A Unified Approach to Engineering Science Education
Donald E. Richards
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology




This workshop is organized into three different, but related, parts.

In Part I, the participants explore the ideas of a core engineering science curriculum and the motivation for change. As part of this discussion, the participants are introduced to the latest research on teaching and learning: How People Learn (Bransford), Teaching Introductory Physics (Arons), and Cooperative Group Problem Solving in Physics (Heller and Heller).

In Part II, the systems, accounting, and modeling (SAM) approach is presented as one possible framework for organizing and integrating a core curriculum. Participants are challenged to look for the common themes within engineering science based on their own experiences. The SAM approach is then developed from these themes. Uses of the SAM approach as a vehicle for introducing fundamental physical laws and as a problem-solving approach are demonstrated.

Finally in Part III, one implementation of this approachthe Rose-Hulman sophomore engineering curriculumis discussed. Based on the interest of participants, different aspects of the Rose-Hulman experience can be emphasized, e.g., curriculum development or student performance. The workshop is presented in an interactive fashion, with presentation of material interspersed with active learning opportunities.

Learning Objectives
After completing this workshop, participants should

  • Be able to provide a rationale for a core engineering science curriculum.
  • Be aware of some sources of current research on teaching and learning and how it supports the SAM approach.
  • Be able to explain the SAM approach to a colleague.
  • Be familiar with one program based on the SAM approach.


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