The 2020 ASEE Best Card Competition Winners

This article also appears in ASEE PRISM.

We’re happy to announce the winners of the annual ASEE Best Card Competition! 

This national competition is an exclusive opportunity that runs in tandem with the ASEE Annual Conference. Everyone who presented a poster or paper at the conference was eligible to enter the competition by submitting their materials on Engineering Unleashed. The Engineering Unleashed Community Catalysts provided a peer review of the materials through a multi-category rubric. Deciding the final five was extremely difficult thanks to all the wonderful work presented.


Winners will receive: 

  • First Place: $500 and a trophy
  • Second Place: $250 and a plaque
  • Third Place: $250 and a plaque

Beyond the possibility of winning, the competition provided a great opportunity for faculty and staff to share their work outside their institutions and organizations. Materials were submitted on cards, which can hold lesson plans, presentations, images, videos, and much more for others to download, use, and adapt in their own classes and projects.

First Place

Prototyping via Makerspace Training in First-Year-Engineering

A first-year engineering course at the University of New Haven is redesigned to add the benefits of learning in the makerspace into an existing design and customer-awareness term project.

Focus on the specific training materials used to introduce students to the makerspace equipment at a first-year student level! 

Stephanie Gillespie, Associate Dean (University of New Haven), introduces three 100-minute class periods with one of the following technologies introduced during each class period alongside entrepreneurial mindset objectives: 

  • 3D Printer -> Rapid Prototyping for Risk Management 
  • Arduino -> Resiliency and Learning from Failure 
  • Laser Cutter + Hand Tools -> Exploring Creativity and Assumptions

Learning Objectives

By the end of the three lessons, students will be able to: 

  • Demonstrate curiosity about modern manufacturing techniques as they use various maker technologies in the creation of a prototype. 
  • Evaluate various maker technologies for usefulness in prototyping, citing connections to financial, time, environmental, and customization considerations. 
  • Use the rapid-prototyping process to create prototype iterations, emphasizing value creation through early testing during the design process. 
Stephanie Gillespie

Stephanie Gillespie, Associate Dean, University of New Haven

Stephanie focuses on leading multiple first-year engineering courses as well as facilitating integration of the new maker space into faculty curriculum. She has experience in K-12 outreach. Stephanie has also served as an Engineering Unleashed Community Catalyst.

Second Place

An Open Ended Design Project Promoting Autonomy in an Introduction to Engineering Course

A free-choice open-ended design project that supports student autonomy, one of the three basic psychological needs from self-determination theory (SDT).

Open Ended Design Project

Get more positive and motivational student responses in an introduction to engineering course! 

Chao Wang, Senior Lecturer (Arizona State University), shows how to engage and motivate students by letting them choose their own design project while introducing broad topics such as the engineering design process, engineering modeling and drawing, and teamwork.

Learning Objectives 

In a design team, students will apply the entrepreneurial mindset to create a customer focused design, including:

  • Proposing a solution to address customer pain points
  • Going through the engineering design process
  • Applying project management principles

Chao Wang

Chao Wang, Senior Lecturer, Arizona State University

Chao is currently the Chair of IEEE Education Society Phoenix Chapter, and is excited about bringing real-world examples and latest technological advances into the classroom to equip students with skills they’ll find useful in their future career.

Third Place

"Master” Entrepreneurial Mindset Concept Map

This "master" entrepreneurial mindset concept map captures faculty insights as to what properties are relevant to the term "entrepreneurial mindset".

Get the Who, What, Why, and How aspects of an entrepreneurial mindset within the context of engineering education!

Cheryl Bodnar, Assistant Professor (Rowan University) and Elise Barrella, CEO and Founder (DfX Consulting LLC), worked with seven faculty experts in the Engineering Entrepreneurship field to finalize this “master” concept map begun at the 2019 KEEN National Conference

Learning Objectives 

After reviewing the map and accompanying materials, faculty will be able to: 

  • Describe the key aspects of an entrepreneurial mindset
  • Relate the key aspects of entrepreneurial mindset to one another
  • Use the "master" entrepreneurial mindset concept map as a reference for course planning or assessment

Download the map

Get the materials to help score and assess students’ concept maps by understanding what terms should be present in the map and the linkages that should exist between these concepts.
Cheryl Bodnar

Cheryl Bodnar, Associate Professor, Rowan University

Cheryl’s research interests relate to the incorporation of active learning techniques such as game-based learning in undergraduate classes as well as integration of innovation and entrepreneurship into the engineering curriculum. She’s particularly interested in the impact that these tools can have on student perception of the classroom environment, motivation and learning outcomes.
Elise Barrella

Elise Barrella, CEO & Founder, DfX Consulting LLC

Elise is passionate about curriculum development, scholarship and student mentoring on transportation systems, sustainability, and engineering design. She is a registered Professional Engineer and was a Founding Faculty member of the Department of Engineering at Wake Forest University. DfX Consulting LLC offers engineering education and design research, planning and consulting services.

Honorable Mention

Students Teaching Engineering - Making Products for Education

A flexible hands-on project where students work in teams to create an inexpensive visual aid that illustrates a class concept, then use it to teach someone.

 Students Teaching Engineering- Making Products for Education

Tailor this project to your class goals while cultivating student curiosity and creating enormous value! 

Kimberly Demoret, Assistant Professor (Florida Institute of Technology), demonstrates in her Introduction to Aerospace Engineering class how to provide hands-on experience in large lecture classes without lab sections. 

Learning objectives include:

  • Building fabrication experience typical of small student projects
  • Increasing confidence in solving open-ended problems
  • Expanding student personal networks
  • Providing opportunities to practice communication and professional skills in a team setting

Kimberly Demoret

Kimberly Demoret, Assistant Professor, Florida Institute of Technology

Kimberly worked for eight years at Kennedy Space Center on launch systems in support of NASA's space exploration goals. Her current research interests include engineering education, student motivation and retention, and the psychology of student teams. She is a retired Lieutenant Colonel and a licensed professional engineer in the state of Florida.

Honorable Mention

How is the Yellow Interval Determined for a Signalized Intersection?

A learning module guides students to solve transportation engineering problems related to the yellow interval and dilemma zone in a simplified setting.

How is the Yellow Interval Determined for a Signalized Intersection?

Get your students analyzing theories and assumptions through storytelling, class discussion, and an individual research project! 

Yingyan Lou, Associate Professor (Arizona State University), provides this module for students to analyze the theories, assumptions, and implications behind the yellow duration calculation, investigate contrarian proposals to current practice, and explore additional possible solutions. 

Learning objectives include:

  • Exploring multiple solution paths
  • Suspending initial judgment on new ideas
  • Understanding the value proposition of a discovery
  • Articulating an idea to diverse audiences

Yingyan Lou, Associate Professor, Arizona State University

Yingyan specializes in intelligent transportation systems and transportation systems modeling and optimization. She has served as a PI/co-PI on 29 projects funded by multiple agencies, including the National Science Foundation, national and regional university transportation centers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Alabama Department of Transportation. Her goal in teaching is to foster critical thinkers and creative engineers.

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