A guide for planning unique engineering design challenges and an example unit

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Date

2012-12

Authors

Jones, Jack Osban

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Abstract

This report describes a generic capstone design project for a high school engineering course. In this unit, the design process is cycled thrice with declining amounts of structure and support. Students are expected to become increasingly independent in the design process by the end of the unit. The generic unit can accommodate many themes, but in order to give a through description, the report focuses on the design of a hovercraft. The bulk of the report presents engineering content needed to design RC hovercraft but readers will hopefully see the hovercraft as more of an example instead of the example. My intention is to inform other teachers of a generic way to conduct this type of engineering unit. Any brevity or lack of detail should be viewed as an opportunity for personalization and creativity. The report includes a review of relevant literature on the topics of student interest and motivation affecting achievement, recommendations on curriculum guidelines by a national review committee and some discussion on coaching students from novice to expert performance

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