The creative process is fun, complex, and sometimes frustrating, but it is critical to the future of our nation and progress in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), as well as other fields. Thus, we set out to see if implementing methods of active learning typical to the theater department could impact the creativity of senior capstone design students in the bioengineering (BE) department. Senior bioengineering capstone design students were allowed to self-select into groups. Prior to the beginning of coursework, all students completed a validated survey measuring engineering design self-efficacy. The control and experimental groups both received standard instruction, but in addition the experimental group received 1 h per week of creativity training developed by a theater professor. Following the semester, the students again completed the self-efficacy survey. The surveys were examined to identify differences in the initial and final self-efficacy in the experimental and control groups over the course of the semester. An analysis of variance was used to compare the experimental and control groups with p < 0.05 considered significant. Students in the experimental group reported more than a twofold (4.8 (C) versus 10.9 (E)) increase of confidence. Additionally, students in the experimental group were more motivated and less anxious when engaging in engineering design following the semester of creativity instruction. The results of this pilot study indicate that there is a significant potential to improve engineering students' creative self-efficacy through the implementation of a “curriculum of creativity” which is developed using theater methods.

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