Faculty Present Workshop at 2023 KEEN National Conference

A team of six faculty members the College of Engineering and Science presented a workshop at the 2023 KEEN National Conference in late January on the benefits of integrated “making” activities in engineering curricula.

The team was comprised of Robert Weaver, ocean engineering and marine sciences associate professor; Chiradeep Sen, mechanical and civil engineering associate professor; Jim Brenner, biomedical and chemical engineering and sciences associate professor; Rodrigo Mesa-Arango, mechanical and civil engineering assistant professor; Kastro Hamed, mathematical sciences professor; and Khaled Slhoub, computer engineering and sciences assistant professor.

KEEN is the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network, a growing, 55-university network of educators and administrators focused on fostering an entrepreneurial mindset in engineering education and research. In addition to Florida Tech, partner schools include other top tier research and teaching universities across the United States including Georgia Tech, Duke, the University of North Carolina, Ohio State University, Arizona State University and Rose-Hulman University. The KEEN National Conference is an annual meeting of this network where teaching innovations and research on the entrepreneurial mindset are shared. 

The Florida Tech workshop, titled “Fostering the Entrepreneurial Mindset Through Making Experiences in the Classroom,” introduced six tools for integrating making activities in engineering curricula that were co-developed by Florida Tech and its KEEN partners George Fox University, the University of Denver and Lawrence Technological University.

Here’s more on the tools: 

  • Making in the Classroom: a tool for integrating making into almost any engineering course. 
  • Scavenger Hunt with Maker/Fabrication Project: a tool for introducing students to the making resources on campus and their capabilities and personnel. 
  • Engineering for the Public Good: a tool for teaching how to apply the product creation process to create value for the community.
  • Generate Good Times (Come On!): a tool to integrate making in a course that typically has limited or no hands-on activity.
  • Custom Design Using 3D Scanning: a tool for teaching the integration of making in customized product design. 
  • ArtDuino Make-a-Thon: a tool for teaching the integration of microcontrollers into engineering design with an element of art.

Florida Tech has been a KEEN member since 2015, and the entrepreneurial mindset embodied therein runs strongly through Florida Tech engineering programs. Florida Tech engages and nurtures the engineers of tomorrow using the three C’s of KEEN: curiosity, connections and creating value.

When combined with the skills and work engineers already do, entrepreneurially minded engineers become powerful agents of societal good.

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