<p>The objective of this paper is to describe a problem based learning module, called the “Energy Cube”, offered by Dublin Institute of Technology that is designed to teach mechanical, building services and manufacturing engineering concepts to first year engineering students.</p>
<p>The Energy Cube project gives students hands-on experience in areas ranging from heat transfer, lighting and energy efficiency to industrial and product design. In the Energy Cube, students design and construct (using cardboard, clear plastic, and glue) a model of a building that admits as much daylight as possible while being energy efficient and aesthetically pleasing.</p>
<p>The students, working in teams of four, complete most of the work within six four-hour blocks allotted for the project. Each week, students are given specific goals: (1) generate design specifications, (2) create an evaluation matrix and use it to select two preliminary designs, (3) choose one final ...