What Makes a Good Project?

Cornerstone projects are proposed by both members of the campus community as well as by outside clients, such as business owners, working engineers, and scientists, and CSM alumni. In addition to volunteering time (click here for a sample of what it looks like to be a client), some organizations choose to offer academic or administrative sponsorship for projects, including donations of materials or funding. While this sort of support is very much appreciated, is it not necessary.

If you have a project in mind and are wondering if it might be a good fit, in addition to meeting our learning objectives, below are some project guidelines to consider.

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EDNS151

Questions to Consider:

  • How suitable is the project for a one-semester first-year course?
  • How well does this project reflect a real-world situation which hasn’t yet been solved satisfactorily?
  • Is there a wide variety of possible solutions to the problem?  
  • Are there likely enough components for a five-member team? 
  • Is there a broad pool of possible stakeholders that the students can contact and learn from?
EDNS251

Questions to Consider:

  • How suitable is the project scope for a one-semester second-year course?
  • How well does the project reflect a real-world situation which hasn’t yet been satisfactorily solved? 
  • How easily does the project lend itself to data collection, analysis and interpretation, and to computer-based modeling? 
  • How suitable is this project to decision analysis (i.e., selection of a solution from multiple alternatives) and to subsystem analysis (i.e., division into individual components)? 
  • How well does this project lend itself to design by a five-member team?
  • Is it open-ended, meaning there is a wide variety of possible solutions and concepts?