The educational project, referred to as MEBBS, is conducted in collaboration with Dr. Mark Bryden, Dr. Judy Vance, Dr. Loren Zachary, and Mr. John Minor. MEBBS stands for Mechanical Engineering Building Blocks to Success and was named as such by a group of twenty five enthusiastic undergraduate students.
The motivating statement for this project is
Here's some history. This project began in mid-1997 as a means to enhance student participation in course and curriculum changes. During the fall of 1997, a core group of eight undergraduate students and three faculty began brainstorming on ways to enhance student participation in course and curriculum changes. During the brainstorming, the faculty acquainted the core group of students with the new philosophy in undergraduate education regarding (a) faculty-led efforts in student-centered learning, (b) the strategic plans of the university regarding student-centered learning, and (c) departmental efforts to modify the curriculum in response to external pressures. It was realized that the three issues raised cannot be addressed independently. Moreover, faculty as well as student buy-in to the new philosophy was recognized as being essential. Thereafter, the group (renamed by students as Mechanical Engineering Building Blocks to Success - MEBBS), developed a detailed plan for enhancing student understanding of the new approach to student-centered learning. Familiarizing students with the curriculum and student-centered learning philosophy in the early years was considered to be top priority. In addition, it was identified that getting students actively involved in collecting information and developing web pages would be a good way to educate a group of students who would then spread the information to their peers. In the winter of 1997, the group expanded to include around twenty students (mostly freshmen and sophomores with some juniors and seniors) working on focused areas identified as being important (a) course web pages, (b) curriculum web pages, (c) base group web pages, and (d) rubric web pages (for complete information see www.public.iastate.edu/~mebbs). The reaction from faculty has been very enthusiastic. Several faculty are currently working with students to get course, curriculum, and rubrics information out on the web.