It is Fall, which means our project teams are trying to get organized. The blank look on the faces of our senior students forces me to remember that only months ago I was watching in amazement as last year’s team worked smoothly and effectively to repair their damaged Formula SAE vehicle overnight so not to miss a single event in the competition. It is a long way from here to there.
An important characteristic of innovation is its potential to transform the way we do things. A small insight applied at the level of fundamentals can have a transformational outcome. Innovation in engineering education should have this transformative leverage.
I have seen confidence in their own abilities and trust in their colleagues, literally transform my students individually and as a team. I can work to provide the opportunity, but I am not sure you can make it happen. It really is not whether a team wins or loses, but seeing them learn to work together as engineers that draws me back year after year.