Promoting Systems Thinking in Engineering and Pre-Engineering Students

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Conference Proceeding

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The context of engineering is one dominated by systems. In order to better prepare graduates with a systems perspective and the competencies to be effective in system design, we discuss initiatives to promote the development of systems thinking, both in undergraduate and K-12 communities. This paper describes vertically-integrated curriculum innovation, in which graduate-level coursework spawned a pilot program to embed systems in a core engineering design course for undergraduates with its resulting adoption and extension to a core design thread, and a resulting high school curriculum development and dissemination effort which has followed. These efforts have also prompted educational research to develop the academic underpinnings of the relatively under-developed scholarly foundations of systems engineering.

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