This paper describes the implementation and the results of problem-based learning (PBL) pedagogy infused with the KEEN’s 3C’s in an Advanced Fluid Mechanics course within the Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) program. The work, a close collaboration between engineering and education faculty, aligns with the New Research Areas (National Engineering Education Research Colloquies 2006), ABET Criteria for Accrediting Engineering Technology Programs, and the KEEN ‘s Framework for Entrepreneurially Minded Learning. The four credit senior level course has lecture (three credits) and lab (one credit) components. It is the second in the fluid mechanics sequence and covers topics like pipeline systems, pump selection, and flow if air in ducts.
During the fall 2021 term, two new problem-based learning exercises were introduced in the curriculum to cover fluid flow through pipeline systems and pump selection theories. The first exercise asked the students to design a pump storage hydropower system able to satisfy a list of specific design requirements, including selecting a feasible pump and estimating the costs associated with implementing the proposed design. Afterwards, the students were asked to blind peer review and to grade all the designs except their own. The second exercise involved the design and analysis of a class II pipeline system. The students were also asked to analyze the economical and societal impact of their design based on the selection of three different materials for their pipeline systems.
Preliminary assessment results support the continued use of these PBL and similar exercises. The evidence shows students developed an understanding of technical content while developing an entrepreneurial mindset. These outcomes satisfy the latest ABET student learning outcomes and support students’ preparedness and readiness for the workforce.