Date of Award


Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Applied Sciences, Technology, and Education

Committee Chair(s)

Edward M. Reeve


Edward M. Reeve


Rebecca G. Lawver


Trevor Robinson


Gary A. Stewardson


This plan B project documents the practice of using an authentic project to teach an engineering design process to high school pre-engineering students and documenting the project preparing a manuscript for journal publication.

The manuscript prepared for publication explores the details of working with local business owners and teachers from different departments and curricular foci to design, fabricate, and install an illuminated sign for a local business. This sign project was presented by an alum of the school to provide an authentic project for multiple courses to collaboratively create a solution for a local community business. Twenty-five students in two engineering design classes were tasked with the creative and engineering design of the sign as well as presenting their proposals to the business owners. Once the business owners selected their preferred design, the remaining process was left to the woodworking and electricity courses for fabrication and installation. There was increased engagement among pre-engineering students as they completed this authentic design project as evidenced by their end-of-term course evaluations.