Increasing Student Practical Experience with the Hurdle of Large Class Sizes

TitleIncreasing Student Practical Experience with the Hurdle of Large Class Sizes
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsBaleshta, J.
Conference NameProceedings of the Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA)
AbstractMany students entering Mechanical or Mechatronics Engineering (MME) at the University of Waterloo (UWaterloo) have limited hands-on skills and lack practical technical knowledge. Student surveys cite a desire for increased practical experience within the curriculum.This paper presents an initiative to address this issue. A keychain project was designed to involve all first year MME students in a practical (hands-on) activity that would foster competence with machinery. This objective proved difficult to implement due to large student enrollment, where scheduling, supervision, and resources were all significant challenges. However, as a result of this experience, over 400 engineering students were provided early exposure to the Student Machine Shop, creating a desire and confidence to pursue additional experience.This program is expected to continue at UWaterloo and become a component of a wider engineering clinic initiative. The methodology and key takeaways will be discussed herein.