Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date



Education programs in incarcerated settings have a goal of improving the current and future lives of the currently incarcerated individuals. There are many programs that support earning a GED, associate degree, or baccalaureate degree when incarcerated. The benefits of these programs include improved behavior while incarcerated, reduced recidivism, and broadening the workforce. Generally, the courses offered as a part of these programs are general education in nature. This paper discusses an Introduction to Project Based Engineering taught in a women’s prison setting. Specifically, it explores the course as a case study reflected on from several angles. Each reflection illuminates the case from a different perspective. The different perspectives are a prison administrator, the instructor, the author of one of the textbooks used in the course, a student more than a decade from release, and a student a few months from release. By taking these reflections together one is able to see the challenges, rewards, and opportunities associated with teaching an Introduction to Project Based Engineering to incarcerated women. Although each perspective highlights different aspects of the course there are common themes. There are also key differences that illustrate the unique needs and wants of the various stakeholders. The common themes and differences are examined. Together they serve as a foundation for adjusting the course to make it more effective and sustainable. Additionally, the reflections examined here shed light on how an Introduction to Project Based Engineering in a traditional setting might be improved.


Integrated Engineering

Conference Name

2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Conference Place

Minneapolis, MN