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Stimulating creativity: teaching engineers to be innovators

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1 Author(s)
Richards, L.G. ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., Virginia Univ., Charlottesville, VA, USA

Engineering is a creative profession; indeed that phrase appears in the title of a consistently popular introductory textbook. Yet few courses in the standard engineering curriculum require or even encourage creativity. Students often feel that creative behavior is actively discouraged in their classes. Several engineers have designed courses or programs to foster creativity, and the recently rekindled interest in engineering design in the curriculum has led to greater emphasis on innovative thinking. Although creativity is generally required for first and fourth year design projects, it is curiously absent in-between. In this paper, the authors explore the nature of, and conditions supporting, creativity, how to foster it in engineering education and describe several courses designed to teach engineering students to be innovators.

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference, 1998. FIE '98. 28th Annual  (Volume:3 )

Date of Conference:

4-7 Nov. 1998