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Ivan E. Esparragoza, Ph.D.

Redesign of a Toy Project for First-Year Engineering Courses

Ivan E. Esparragoza, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Engineering, Penn State Brandywine (

Many students decide to study engineering because they like to design and build things or they like the hands-on work. However, most of the engineering programs devote the first two years of the engineering curriculum to theoretical foundations in math and science with little or no connection with the engineering majors. As a result, a big number of students are stepping out of engineering due to a lack of design and hands-on experience during the first two years. This paper reports the implementation of a redesign project in two freshman engineering courses. The purpose of this project is not only to introduce the design process and professional skills such as teamwork and communication among others, but also to serve as a means to connect the students with the engineering field from the very beginning and motivate them to stay in a technical career.

Proceeding of the 9th International Latin American and Caribbean Conference for Engineering and Technology (LACCEI 2011), Medellin, Colombia, August 3-5, 2011.