Real World Experience in the Classroom

CATEGORIES: Uncategorized

Most people think of classrooms as a place to go and learn skills that they can use later on in the workplace. In my PR 321 class, we are taking a different approach to just learning skills and instead, putting these newly learned techniques to use!

The solar car garage

Each class has a different company, club, or organization that it works with and my class is working with the Iowa State University solar car team PrISUm! They have asked our class to redesign their monthly newsletter format and write various articles for the newsletter as well. So far it has been quite a learning experience-at least on my part! Though I know how to write newsletters, I have had the awesome opportunity to gain exposure and learn about the engineering world which I may not have had without this assignment.

With this experience, our class got to take a field trip over to where all of the solar car magic happens! We visited their office, which is full of computers for the designing process of the car, and their garage, where the physical car is built and worked on. Currently, the team is in the process of designing three possible new cars. Once the best model is decided- the building of the new solar car will commence in the spring!

Designing happens through computer automated design software

One of the engineers who has been in contact with our class and gave us a tour of their workplace expressed his thankfulness toward our class for taking up the task of writing newsletters for their team.I think it is perfect because we get to write newsletters for a real purpose, instead of a made up assignment, knowing that they could be used to help out the ISU PrISUm solar car team. He said, "Every hour we spend doing other things is an hour we don’t spend doing engineering things." What we are doing through this collaboration is working together for the good of Cyclone Nation. It’s pretty great to have homework assignments that I can put in my resumé! For the first time, we get to see how our different majors come together to support the same product. While I may not be an engineer, I bring new ideas on how to inform the community on what it is prISUm is doing! I know that more classes than just mine in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences operate in this way, better preparing students for their future careers with hands on assignments and fun opportunities!

Posted by: Selia Schneider