Monday, May 11, 2020

Engineering Student Design Team Projects at a Distance

On Friday, May 1 I had the honor of judging University of Hartford College of Engineering, Technology and Architecture Class of 2020 Senior Team Design Projects. I spent three semesters at Hartford as a visiting professor before coming to Holyoke Community College and had many of the students participating in the 2020 design competition in my classes.

I wrote about my experience at Hartford in an earlier post - after 20 years they were my introduction back to the traditional age group (18-22) engineering classroom. The last time I had students this age in one of my classes was 1998 and I had no idea what to expect. To say I was pleasantly surprised was an understatement.

Fast forward to the May 1 competition when this group once again impressed me. Senior project work runs over the fall and spring semesters with final projects evaluated and scored at the end of the spring semester by invited judges. Shutting down the campus at the half way point this spring hit them at a critical point in project completion. Student teams continued to work together online from their homes and student teams presented their projects together to us in online meeting rooms. 

I am so proud of them - each team member was able to rise to the challenge - focusing, planning and completing their projects at a distance. In some cases that distance was 6 or more times zones away. This spring has been difficult and unexpected for all of us. These students were able to adjust, make necessary changes and complete their project work. You can check out some of the projects here

We don't have control over what is happening but we are able to control how we view and react to it. Valuable lessons. Congrats to the Class 0f 2020!

Experience with students in my classes at Holyoke Community College has been exactly the same. I’ll write about that in my next post.