First Nations project contexts in first-year engineering: extending the EWB Challenge in two Universities

Posted by : George Goddard May 6, 2022

Contact : g.goddard at Maps

Many universities across Australia teach the Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Challenge as part of their first-year engineering curriculum, introducing engineering design and professional practice. The EWB Challenge provides a real-world context for students to work in teams to develop a design solution for a real community need. This does not provide a strong ongoing relationship with the community but allows students to start to learn about such processes. Over the last two years, the EWB Challenge has been in a First Nations context, and this chapter shares the development of learning materials that expand on the EWB Challenge content to assist students in their backgrounding about the First Nations of Australia as the cross-cultural project context.

Developed by two Australian universities in collaboration with EWB, this learning material is freely available and consists of in-depth modules, explanatory videos and interactive scenarios, which can be applied to train tutors and for in-class student learning activities. We also share our learning and insights from using these learning materials in teaching the EWB Challenge at our two universities over the last 2-3 years. The aim of this chapter is to be a resource for academics to develop material relevant to their First Nations and local people, and/or other cross-cultural project-learning contexts. The learnings we present here are intended to be transferable and relevant to more broad cross-cultural project-based learning.

Extract from Chapter 9, Indigenous Engineering for an Enduring Culture, edited by Cat Kutay, Elyssebeth Leigh, Juliana Kaya Prpic and Lyndon Ormond-Parker. Published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Author: Cat Kutay, George Goddard, Eva Cheng, Susi Bertei, Scott Daniel, Jeremy Lindeck, and Timothy Boye

Location: Melbourne