The current paper describes an Introduction to Engineering class that was taught to a group of high school students in the summer of 1997. The class was offered through an outreach program at the University of California at Berkeley called the Academic Talent Development Program (ATDP), and was designed to give students an overview of the diverse field of engineering. In order to learn what engineers actually do, the students engaged in a variety of projects and hands-on activities to find out how things work and to practice their own engineering skills. This paper will provide an overview of the syllabus and goals of the course. Specific activities and design projects will also be documented such as the mechanical and computer engineering design challenges, teamwork and student presentations, and the on-line web-based assignments. Detailed examples of student work and student feedback will be reported. The quality of student work, as well as the positive feedback about the class, indicates that these high school students were not only motivated by the subject matter but were also capable of fundamental engineering design and problem solving.
ASJC Scopus subject areas