More than 1500 students participated in 6-hour workshop in a format of design-build-fly. These workshops were conducted as a part of aeromodelling club of IIT Delhi with the help of Skyfi Labs, Bangalore and support from Boeing. These workshops helped the student to earn five units/credits of design and practical experience as a mandatory graduation requirement.
- Prof. P V M Rao, IIT Delhi in his interview with Careers360
Engineering touches our lives in every way. Be it the road we are travelling on or be it the mobile phone we are using. If engineering students understand the social impact and value of Engineering, they are obviously in for a bright career ahead. That’s what the thinking was at IIT Delhi, which for the first time integrated an Engineering introduction course in the 1st semester syllabus this year. It is a conscious and applaudable effort on their part to motivate and encourage fresher students to realize Engineering in its full colors. This course, which is still underway, is compulsory for all first year students. And even if it wasn't, a hundred percent participation was guaranteed considering the experiences in store!
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In the course, every session is correlated to engineering with an objective to increase students’ interest levels in engineering. For instance, in one session, students were asked to pick a social issue from the day’s newspaper and relate some invention in engineering to the issue. Students were divided into groups of six so that they could discuss among themselves to conceive fruitful engineering ideas for solving the selected social issue. Such brainstorming sessions are truly instrumental in forging engineering thinking in the students’ minds. Each week, the students are given such activities where they are divided into subgroups, and each individual contributes to these activities in some way.
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Other interesting sessions include lectures from renowned engineering professionals from different fields and industries. In these lectures, they talk about their engineering inventions and progressive research done in engineering studies. They also discuss how engineering has evolved over the years, how it is right now, and most importantly how it is applied in real-life. On one such lecture weekend, representatives from Boeing were present to talk about engineering innovations and technologies implemented in their aircraft designs. Another week, admirals from Indian Navy’s submarine division explained engineering principles involved in submarines, briefly informing about the construction and usefulness of submarines. Clearly, all these experiences are gold to all these aspiring engineers.
Now, coming to the social impact of engineering, it was the representatives from Godrej who clearly left a mark on the students when they showcased a unique refrigerator called as Chotukool - which is available at an astoundingly lower price of one thousand rupees! The summer heat in Delhi can sometimes be unbearable. This ingenious refrigerator can provide some respite to the masses who otherwise couldn’t afford pricier alternatives. The Godrej team explained the idea and the working of the refrigerator. They clearly mentioned how engineering makes all this possible. Talking about social impact, a one of its kind summit was held at the IIT Delhi campus in the presence of international delegates who discussed the current social issues and how important a role engineering plays and will play in curbing these issues.
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All these experiences from this Engineering introduction course mainly increases awareness among the fresher students. It increases their interest and enthusiasm in engineering learning. It motivates them to do something out of the box, something interesting! If every engineering student could experience this, then we are headed for a better and certain future! Like IIT Delhi, all engineering colleges should put considerable efforts in incorporating such courses into their curriculum so that their students can also realize the value of engineering at a fairly earlier stage!
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