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First SoTL Brown Bag Talk this year: First Year EGR

posted Oct 1, 2010, 2:42 PM by Jon Sticklen   [ updated Oct 1, 2010, 2:49 PM ]
The first talk of AY 2010-2011 in the CoE brown bag series on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) will take place on Tuesday, October 5 at noon, in 3540 EB. The informal discussion will be lead by Neeraj Buch, Director of the First Year program in CoE. Pizza will be served. 



The 21st Century will require engineers with the ability to innovate, communicate, and operate at a high level upon graduation. Producing graduates that meet these demands is critical to retaining America’s technical leadership. The College of Engineering at Michigan State University (MSU) is responding to this need by launching an initiative to integrate the first year engineering with a living and learning community. The goal of this initiative is to connect freshmen to seniors, freshmen to early team project experiences, students to the profession, and all to a “sense of belonging.”

By combining an early engineering program (increasingly common at top engineering schools) with a residential living-learning program (for MSU is already renowned), fosters a community of thinkers who can explore solutions to society’s key problems.  The students are engaged in hands-on, team-based, design problems to develop creativity and innovation, and sharpen communication and presentation skills. Furthermore, the students are introduced to Engineering Modeling and Computational Techniques.

As members of this living and learning community, the students will be encouraged participate in “theme” communities brought together around important issues - issues that National Academy of Engineering has outlined as “the grand challenges of the 21st century”. Themed areas of the residence hall will engage around a different problem or theme, in areas like transportation, sustainability or energy.  For example, an Energy Theme would bring together freshmen interested in energy related issues confronting society.  These students would brainstorm technical solutions and societal transformations necessary for growth and well-being in the future.