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Engineering and Technology Colloquia Series

Turning Undergraduate Education on Its Head

Presented by: Stefi Baum (Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science at the Rochester Institute of Technology)
Category: Engineering Colloquia   Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes   Broadcast date: May 19, 2011
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This past fall the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science abandoned its traditional lecture based pedagogy for freshmen and implemented a radically different project-based curriculum. Under this new approach, students work together as a single integrated team for a full academic year to design and build a unique, fully functional imaging system. But, rather than have them reproduce an existing device, we want them to advance the state of the art and apply their new device to real world problems. Our goal is to provide our students with a foundational experience that is more relevant, engaging, challenging, and motivating than that which has been used to date. We fully expect them to be better prepared to succeed in their upper class studies, and, ultimately, to graduate with the tools they need to thrive in an increasingly dynamic, collaborative, and innovative workforce. Although their efforts are scaffolded by experienced faculty mentors, these freshmen have full responsibility for determining the nature and direction of their activities. Successful implementation of the proposed curriculum is a natural step in the evolution of STEM education at the college freshman level. We hope this new approach will change long-held perceptions about the abilities of first year students, and lead to a broadening of the role of faculty in undergraduate STEM education.

Related Documents

Stefi's Presentation PowerPoint (.ppt)