Through a committee of worldwide experts, the NAE has identified fourteen challenges that are global in scale and difficult to accomplish. For example, the challenges include making solar energy economical, and providing access to clean water for everyone. Amy embraces the challenges and inspires her students to creatively approach possible solutions.
“GCSP is preparing engineers who identify opportunities and utilize a broad skill set and perspective to develop solutions to societal problems that help people and improve lives,” Amy says.
"Students need to have an entrepreneurial mindset in order to identify those opportunities and make connections between culture, policy and other societal factors to develop solutions that create real value for society. Once I recognized this synergy, I found ways to further enhance entrepreneurial mindset development in my GCSP students.”
When ASU became involved with KEEN and its mission of graduating engineers with both a technical skillset and an EM, Amy was elated knowing it aligned with her own approach to teaching. To her, project-based EM is a way to focus students on the important, practical part of engineering: creating a solution that is not only technically sound, but also generates value for individuals, institutions and society.
As a big thinker, Amy doesn’t keep all she’s learned to herself and her home institution. She actively shares her successful strategies; at KEEN National Conferences, NAE GCSP Annual Meetings, and ASEE Annual Conferences. Many of Amy’s teaching methods and materials are published as several very detailed and useful Engineering Unleashed cards for faculty to immediately adapt into their classes.
While working with KEEN, Amy also noticed a potential connection between the KEEN network and the national GCSP program, which led to the formation of the KEEN GCSP group that has broadened participation and the impact of both programs.
In addition to classroom exercises, Amy has published detailed material on entire courses and workshops related to the Grand Challenges. This extensive material can be used to train faculty and inspire students to create their own GCSP designs, proposals and classroom exercises.
All of the instructional materials Amy and colleagues in her GCSP program published on Engineering Unleashed are freely available for download and personalization. The materials are classroom tested, will help infuse students with the EM, and will save instructors weeks of intensive work.