The Benefits of Project-Based Learning for Engineering Students – Podcast interview with Daniel Brateris

“When starting on the path of project-based learning your goal should not be to start by shooting for the moon but to just start, as you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” – Daniel J. Brateris, MS, BS

In this episode, I interviewed Daniel J. Brateris, MS, BS, an electrical engineer, and engineering educator, and we talked about how project-based learning for engineering students can help build relationships, plan career paths, impress employers, and build additional skill sets.

Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About Project-Based Learning:

  • Project-based learning (PBL) is a way that we try to structure what people will learn by creating a project that we know will lead them down a path of learning those topics.
  • Project-based learning can help students to improve their communication skills and time management skills, and will also teach them to document what they are doing.
  • The process of helping instructors learn new ways to teach and restructure their curriculum so that it can still be accredited and fit into their schedules is a very big challenge.
  • We incorporated a central facility called the Makerspace that is well staffed with full-time engineers and some of our best and brightest students. This space provides a guide for the faculty and the instructors where we teach them how to integrate certain engineering concepts into building a project.
  • When starting on the path of project-based learning, it is important to keep it small and simple. Remember that your first concept might not work out the way you planned. Take your idea and test it, work with what you have, and make sure it works for you. The goal is not to start by shooting for the moon, but to just start.
  • If you leave an engineering education having an engineering degree and a set of skills in project management, fabrication, and prototyping, you are a whole world apart from someone who just sat in a classroom.

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