Hands-on experience is an important educational component of agricultural and technical disciplines, and substantial effort and innovation in this area is being realized. This paper examines the use of real-world student design problems for actual clients that require a multidisciplinary team approach to solve them. The projects described were used in courses throughout biological and agricultural engineering curricula, and diverse methodologies were used to implement the projects via an interactive, group approach. Student projects included design of environmental controls, waste management systems, environmental impact plans, natural habitats for wild animals, a playground, and food-grade bioseparation and sterilization equipment. Clients for these projects included university administrators, local companies and consulting firms, zoning commissions, members of the local community and researchers in food science and horticulture. Methodologies for implementing these projects are discussed, the impact of these projects on student learning is detailed, and recommendations for using this approach are presented.
real world problem solving projects, team