T8-FY2-5 - Infusing Computing into Introductory Engineering

1. Innovative Practice Work In Progress
Briana Bettin1 , Michelle Jarvie-Eggart1, Charles Wallace1, Kelly Steelman1
1 Michigan Technological University

In this work in progress innovative practice paper, we explore integrating introductory computer science curricula methods into an engineering fundamentals context.

With this work, faculty from computer science, engineering fundamentals, and cognitive and learning science have approached the problem of perceived value and applicability of programming for engineering students. Specifically, our students appear to not realize the importance programming skills for practicing engineers within industry, and display low interest in programming. We are working to address this perception problem through interventions in the engineering fundamentals classroom.

Our interventions have three objectives: establish awareness of how programming skills can be generalized beyond the introductory classroom, incorporate targeted activities for algorithmic thinking, and demonstrate the practical applications of programming skills. Further, interventions related to these objectives must be designed in a way that specifically targets our engineering students. We plan to implement our interventions in Fall 2020.

While engineering students may not necessarily develop a ``programmer'' identity through our efforts, our goal is that students recognize that programming is indeed part of the career and identity of an engineer.