The key is to spark the innovative spirit from the beginning. Every engineer has a bit of the American basement inventor in them and it is this class' purpose to make that sure that every student has the chance to explore their talents. By introducing them to design early on, we teach our students to look at their classes, not as requirements but as opportunities to expand their skill set. Newfound knowledge will be seen as new tools to be used in future designs. Just as an experienced carpenter can see the value of new building materials, an engineer from our program will be able to recognize the resources that the sciences provide as they learn about them.

More than that this course also concentrates on introducing many of the 'management' principles of design. For many students this will be the first time they will be asked to produce a technically written document or give a technical presentation. Since having a basis in these communication skills is also a crucial part of being an engineer, these skills will be developed through:

Sounds like a lot, huh? Well it is! Engineering is more than a scientific discipline. It is a thought process all of its own, a way of analyzing problems and developing solutions with the tools at hand. The sooner we as teachers can begin to instill this ideology the more our students will gain from their education.

After all, there are many students who begin their education as engineers but finish in a completely different field. By placing this course at the beginning of the curriculum, we can help to establish a foundation of the core engineering philosophy into an even larger audience.