How Projects Work
Iron Range Engineering students attain their engineering degree through Project-Based-Learning. Before the semester begins, IRE faculty meet with industry representatives acquire projects of appropriate scope as well as work out intellectual property and confidentiality agreements. A team of 2-6 students is formed based on students interests and needs. The team is assigned a faculty mentor who helps to guide the team throughout the semester. Students then meet with industry representatives to determine project deliverables, timelines, and resources. Projects are completed over the course of the semester allowing students to gain valuable industrial and project based engineering experience along with necessary communication skills. At the end of the project, teams deliver a final presentation and supply technical documents and deliverables to the industrial representatives.
A guiding principle of the IRE Project-Based-Learning model is student responsibility for their learning. At the beginning of each project, students identify which skills will be addressed during the project. Working with faculty, students determine and apply various learning styles to acquire knowledge from the projects. Throughout the semester, evidence is collected that reflects the learning process and provides evidence of learning. In addition, students give presentations to faculty and external clients to demonstrate their knowledge. The final presentation includes an extensive oral exam session in which students demonstrate their understanding of technical engineering knowledge gained and competencies acquired. At the conclusion of each project cycle, students have a new view of their levels of knowledge and competencies.