O n my first day as a professor, I encountered a problem. Although the students were friendly, I was immediately met with criticism, “I hear thermodynamics is a really tough course. It is going to be a rough semester.” This made me wonder, what about thermodynamics causes students apprehension before even stepping into the classroom? The student attitude results from the difficulty of mapping abstract, theoretical, thermodynamic principles to complex and real problems. As a result, they dread the course and perceive it as incredibly difficult. To improve the situation, I used a known effective pedagogy, problem-based learning (PBL). I believed the teaching method would motivate an understanding of thermodynamic principles and help students relate concepts to real-world problems. Thermodynamics is fun! ( No, really! ) How can a notoriously difficult course be modified to improve student learning? The answer came when I transformed my course to simply help students be better engineers. To do that, I had to develop their entrepreneurial mindsets. By Jennifer O’Neil Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology (formerly at Western New England University) 13 12