Creativity in the engineering process is an often overlooked skill. There is a real danger for engineering students to lose focus on their creative side in the pursuit of "safe" and proven methods of obtaining good grades and "winning" products. And there is a real danger for engineering teachers to focus only on the end product, ignoring the innovation on display in "losing" products.
Some top engineering schools like Stanford University explicitly teach creativity. Japan, a noted high-tech society, features the art of chindogu, which focuses on creating un-useless products. And when you look at how engineers have changed our very society and culture, you can see how creative minds sparked inventions as diverse as the Panama Canal to our modern phones that interface with the world's biggest source of information, the Internet. Some call this moonshot thinking.
This project is an attempt to encourage you to generate, to develop new ideas and solutions, which is an aspect of creativity that is of supreme importance in our world today.
Our major learning goals for this unit are:
Conceptual (what do you need to learn?):