ew 22(40): e3

Research Article

A Sustainability-focused Project-based Learning Experience for Engineering Undergraduates: Case Study of a Smart Greenhouse Project

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  • @ARTICLE{10.4108/ew.v9i40.2192,
        author={Rick Todd Kaske Jr and Brady Connaher and Mohammad Upal Mahfuz},
        title={A Sustainability-focused Project-based Learning Experience for Engineering Undergraduates: Case Study of a Smart Greenhouse Project},
        journal={EAI Endorsed Transactions on Energy Web},
        volume={9},
        number={40},
        publisher={EAI},
        journal_a={EW},
        year={2022},
        month={7},
        keywords={Project-based Learning, Smart Greenhouse, Sustainability, Sustainable Design, Undergraduate Curriculum},
        doi={10.4108/ew.v9i40.2192}
    }
    
  • Rick Todd Kaske Jr
    Brady Connaher
    Mohammad Upal Mahfuz
    Year: 2022
    A Sustainability-focused Project-based Learning Experience for Engineering Undergraduates: Case Study of a Smart Greenhouse Project
    EW
    EAI
    DOI: 10.4108/ew.v9i40.2192
Rick Todd Kaske Jr1, Brady Connaher1, Mohammad Upal Mahfuz1,*
  • 1: University of Wisconsin–Green Bay
*Contact email: mahfuzm@uwgb.edu

Abstract

In this paper, a smart greenhouse project has been presented as an example of a sustainability-focused project-based learning experience for undergraduates. While project-based instruction and learning experience has already gained enough momentum in several fields of education, the inclusion of sustainability perspectives from the science and engineering fields of studies is yet to make its room in the current course curricula as well as in the mindset of new generations of engineering undergraduates. This smart greenhouse project is an example of how sustainability can be brought into a classroom setting of engineering and technology programs as a project-based learning experience. The objective of this smart greenhouse project is to create an automated system capable of growing vegetation with little human input by utilizing electricity, computer programming, and a microcontroller operation. While this project was implemented by a group of two students with electrical engineering technology (EET) major as parts of their Introduction to Programming (ET 142) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (ET 342) courses requirements at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA, a similar sustainability-focused project-based learning approach can also be applied successfully in other courses at different levels of engineering and technology programs at other academic institutions.