From product dissection to product archaeology: Exposing students to global, economic, environmental, and societal impact through competitive and collaborative "digs"

Timothy W. Simpson, Gül E. Okuda, Omar M. Ashour, Kemper Lewis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Product dissection activities have been very successful used in engineering courses to help anchor the knowledge and practice of engineering in students' minds. Unfortunately, most product dissection activities tend to stress form, functionality, and fabrication, missing opportunities to explore the broader impacts of engineering design decisions. In this paper, we present initial efforts to transform product dissection activities into product archaeology exercises wherein students "dig" to uncover not only the manufacturing (i.e., economic) issues of a product, but also the global and societal context that influenced its development as well as the environmental impact of the product during its life cycle. We introduce two new classes of exercises-competitive "digs" and collaborative "digs"-to engage students in similar, yet different, ways in product archaeology. Competitive "digs" pit teams of students in a time-based competition to unearth the global, societal, economic, and environmental impact of a product while collaborative "digs" allow students to work together to dig more deeply into these issues over an extended period of time. Results from pilot offerings of both of these types of exercises are summarized and discussed along with a preliminary educational assessment of one of the collaborative "digs". Improvements to the exercises and future work to formalize this new paradigm of product archaeology are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC/CIE 2011
Pages717-727
Number of pages11
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011
EventASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC/CIE 2011 - Washington, DC, United States
Duration: Aug 28 2011Aug 31 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference
Volume7

Other

OtherASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC/CIE 2011
CountryUnited States
CityWashington, DC
Period8/28/118/31/11

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

Cite this

Simpson, T. W., Okuda, G. E., Ashour, O. M., & Lewis, K. (2011). From product dissection to product archaeology: Exposing students to global, economic, environmental, and societal impact through competitive and collaborative "digs". In ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC/CIE 2011 (pp. 717-727). (Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference; Vol. 7). https://doi.org/10.1115/DETC2011-48298