National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Challenges Videos Developed by Auburn Students for Engineering For You 2 (E4U2) Video Contest

February 2015

In 2007, the NAE began working with a marketing company to rebrand engineering and better communicate the importance of engineering to the public and potential future engineers. The resulting messages are 1) Engineers are creative problem solvers, 2) Engineers make a world of difference, 3) Engineering is essential to our health, happiness, and safety, and 4) Engineers help shape the future. As the implementation of Engineering Messages continues to grow, there is mounting evidence of its effectiveness. In 2008, the NAE launched the Engineering Grand Challenges website (http://www.engineeringchallenges.org/). The fourteen grand challenges highlight key challenges facing modern society that reinforce the engineering messages of how engineers and their creative problem solving skills are essential to improving our world and shaping the future. The NAE kicked off its E4U2 national video competition in order to highlight how engineering will create a more sustainable, healthy, secure and/or joyous world by addressing the NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering. The details of the competition are available at http://www.nae.edu/e4u2/

The Business-Engineering-Technology (BET) Program in the College of Engineering participated in the E4U2 Video Contest, and three teams have advanced to the finalist round. The “Best Video Overall” includes a $25,000 grand prize and the “People’s Choice” award includes $5,000 for each competition category. The winners and prizes of the contest will be announced in September 2015.

Picture of the BET 3520 class which participated in the E4U2 Video Contest

Picture of the BET 3520 class which participated in the E4U2 Video Contest

The links to all the videos created by the student teams are:

Finalist 1
Solar Energy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSET_v2ZVMQ

Finalist 2

Advanced Personalized Learning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGQ_zzEwNK8

Finalist 3

Nuclear Fusion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTQvpRCIABE

Infrastructure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6R0iDI7Ma8Y

Providing Access to Clean Water- Team 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5sQwArCISM

Providing Access to Clean Water- Team 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPs-UUG1Kcc

For more details contact P. K. Raju (rajupol@auburn.edu) or Pramod Rajan (rajanpr@auburn.edu)


LITEE and TOOLWIRE Develop Innovative Instructional Materials to Improve Student Performance and Engagement in Engineering Classrooms

December 2013

LITEE at Auburn University (www.litee.org ) and Toolwire (www.toolwire.com) have won an NSF SBIR/ STTR Directorate Phase I award in 2011 for their study, Use of Serious Games to Improve Learning Outcomes in Engineering Programs by the National Science Foundation (www.nsf.gov).


Toolwire is a global leader in experiential learning solutions. The company has won several awards this year for the development of immersive “Day-in-the-Life” learning experiences combining audio and video interaction, photorealistic digital locations, and virtual characters that interact with students in the context of engaging storylines.

 Serious Games

A serious game can be defined as a world where the students play simulated events using characters that interact with them, and, in turn, helps them learn a concept much more thoroughly than what is possible in a classroom or in a lab session. The LITEE team, in collaboration with TOOLWIRE, developed a serious game to teach Engineering Design Process to freshmen mechanical engineering students in the Intro to Mechanical Engineering (ENGR 1110) course.

 Engineering Design Serious Game

Screenshots from the Engineering Design Serious Game

Screenshots from the Engineering Design Serious Game

Educational Objectives of the game

  • To provide students with an opportunity to learn the engineering design process in a fun and gaming environment
  • To help students understand the intricacies involved in designing engineering structures in an interactive manner
  • To demonstrate the effectiveness of the use of serious games in teaching engineering concepts


Analysis of the results showed that the students enjoyed working with the serious game, and that this experience helped them understand the design process more effectively.


Concept Tutor Modules

Concept tutor modules are video-based instructional tools developed to be a lecture supplement that provide additional help to students by explaining specific concepts taught in class and reinforcing their learning.


Screenshots from the game based concept tutors

Screenshots from the game based concept tutors

Quantitative and qualitative results showed that students find such materials useful. Furthermore, the students preferred the game based concept tutors to complement a lecture.

At Auburn: PI: Dr. P. K. Raju Co- PI: Dr. Chetan S. Sankar. The students involved in this study are Pramod Rajan, Joseph McIntyre, Eliza Banu and Sai Maharaja Swamidason.

At Toolwire: PI: Steve Lynch. Michael Watkins and team and Dayvid Jones and team are the people involved in this project.


Our research results are based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation.  Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.