Work in Progress (WIP): A Re-Design of the OneCar: A Project Based Learning Assignment for First Year Engineering Students

Matthew P. Caputo, Georgia Macris, Daudi R. Waryoba

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This work focuses on the beneficial educational characteristics of a project based learning assignment, introduced to first year engineering students during their introduction to engineering design course. This project tasks students with re-designing and manufacturing the OnecarTM. The OnecarTM is a commercially available comprehensive Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) kit that utilizes fundamental concepts of mechanics and energy to produce motion in a simple chassis. From this kit, students explore various energy sources (used to power electric motors that produce rotational motion), such as solar panels, capacitors, batteries, as well as chemical reactions, compressed air, and elastic potential energy; in order to produce a displacement. Each energy source is based on a scientific principle; such as force and motion, electricity, renewable energy etc. Students are assigned to a group of 3 - 4 to work as a “team” of engineers that test the current designs of the OnecarTM and evaluate their functionality based on velocity. Afterwards, students are asked to identify four of the top motion-generating energy sources and rank the performances. Students then design and fabricate new cars with the goal of increasing the velocity. The results of product testing, product re-design, prototyping, and prototype evaluation from the groups will be presented in this work. Additionally, the models and design approaches taken by the students will be highlighted and discussed. Responses from students' feedback suggests that they benefited from the project and collectively agree that this work helped them gain awareness into how to manage time, communicate, and collaborate in the group setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Aug 9 2021
Event13th Annual First Year Engineering Experience, FYEE 2020 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: Aug 9 2021Aug 21 2021


Conference13th Annual First Year Engineering Experience, FYEE 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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