Development of materials for teaching design for sustainability via spiral learning

The Department of Chemical Engineering at Wayne State University is leading the way in developing sustainability concepts and design for sustainability methodologies for integration into the curriculum. Sustainable development is an increasingly important topic in engineering education due to the seemingly rapid depletion of natural resources around the world. However, the design and practice of sustainability requires a departure from traditional engineering in scope, header, spatial/temporal aspects, ways of thinking and problem solving. The teaching design for sustainability via spiral learning seeks to eliminate these issues.

This project uses a project-based learning that integrates the entire curriculum, and an assessment method to evaluate the materials and the effectiveness of student learning. Education materials are developed and tested in the curriculum utilizing a spiral learning approach. The spiral learning strategy allows students at different educational levels to work together on challenging real-world engineering problems that have a sustainability focus. The course header is designed to motivate students toward enhanced learning within the sustainability concept and to help bridge the gap between learning and application. Funding Source: National Science Foundation