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An optoelectronic laboratory for first year students

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2 Author(s)
Goldwein, C.H. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Bucknell Univ., Lewisburg, PA, USA ; Lord, S.M.

An optoelectronics laboratory for the freshman level introduction to engineering class at Bucknell University was implemented as a senior design project. Exploring Engineering (EG100) is a class of approximately 200 students, mostly freshmen engineers and some interested students from arts and sciences. In addition to lectures, the laboratory component allows each student to experience one lab from each of five engineering disciplines. The laboratory created in this project will be used as the electrical engineering component. The main goal of this project was to develop experiments that first year students would enjoy, find interesting, and possibly motivate them to become electrical engineers. Because of limited space and equipment, the laboratory was designed as a series of modules. Each module was scheduled for fifteen minutes, with the total time being two hours. The modules include using an optical voice link, comparing a light bulb, an LED, and a laser pointer, observing different colored LEDs, learning the principle of total internal reflection, and experimenting with a waveguide. A group of first year students tested each of the modules and their feedback was used to evaluate and improve on the modules. This project has served well as a two tiered learning experience. As an undergraduate, it is a great benefit to learn how to create a lab experiment and how to present the information. The students taking EG1OO have benefited from new laboratory experiments that will teach them about optoelectronics, a topic not usually introduced in the freshman year nor typically associated by freshmen with electrical engineering

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference, 1996. FIE '96. 26th Annual Conference., Proceedings of  (Volume:2 )

Date of Conference:

6-9 Nov 1996