A Service Learning Case Study in Heat Transfer

Dukhan, Nihad, Mark Schumack, and John Daniels

This poster describes the implementation and the impact of a service-learning project in a heat transfer course for undergraduate engineering students. The students visited low-income households in the Detroit area and installed insulation materials on doors and windows to conserve energy and reduce heating costs during the cold months. The project was done in collaboration with WARM Training Center in Detroit, which provides training and technical help to residents applying for government assistance with utility bills. Performed in conjunction with the Leadership Development Institute at UDM, the project provided students with a rich service learning experience directly tied to course content.

The students performed basic heat transfer calculations to estimate the reduction in heat loss and associated decrease in energy bills due to their modifications in the homes. These analyses applied course material to real-world situations, and were clearly tied to course technical outcomes. Aside from the technical objectives, the project‟s service learning objectives included exposing the students to low-income living conditions, promoting of the importance of community service, and giving students an awareness of how they can use their engineering knowledge to serve the disadvantaged. LDI survey form data and students‟ written reflections were analyzed to gauge the personal effect of the service learning experience on leadership qualities, social justice interests, and attitudes towards community service. Results indicate that the experience had significant positive impact in areas such as empathy, stewardship, commitment to the growth of people, building community, and service to the disadvantaged.

The poster will summarize the technical content, provide graphical and tabular results from the analyses of LDI data and written reflections, and display photos of students engaged in the activities.