Sustainable Design: Integrate the Creative Thinking and Innovation into Graphical Communications
Engineering programs need to prepare the next generation of engineering professionals for tackling sustainability challenges that impact the social, environmental, and economic progress of the nation. This paper describes how the sustainable design concept was integrated into a freshman-level engineering gateway course that emphasizes creative thinking and innovation through an open-ended team project. The goal of the study is to improve students’ study skills to prepare them to be the next generation of engineering professionals. The expected outcomes are increased and improved innovative thinking, communication, and teamwork skills. A questionnaire-based methodology was used to assess the success of the study and data was collect for three years. The assessment results indicate that students liked the sustainable design project and their innovative thinking, communication, and teamwork skills were improved in the sustainable design project over the time period analyzed. A summary of lessons learned during the study is included and a future plan is discussed.