Learning Factory - Students - Deliverables

What are my team's deliverables?

Each team will have deliverables specific to their project (e.g., analyses, simulation models, working prototype, hardware, test results), which should be reviewed and agreed upon with the project sponsor during the initial conference call or site visit. We recommend that teams and sponsors sign a Deliverables Agreement Form early in the semester so that everyone is clear on the project expectations.

Do we have to write a report?

Each team has reporting requirements for their instructor, which typically include a Statement of Work (a.k.a., a project proposal), a Detailed Specification Report, and a Final Report. A copy of the Final Report should also be submitted to the Learning Factory as noted below. Each team should review the relevant course syllabus to see when these reports are due, the expectations for each report, grading, etc.

Do we have to make any presentations?

Teams typically give two oral presentations as well during the semester. The first presentation occurs about 1/3 of the way into the semester and covers the project proposal (i.e., what your team plans to do). The second presentation is the final team report at the end of the semester. Teams should also practice the project overview and "elevator pitch" that they will give to industry sponsors, faculty, and other students during the Design Showcase.

Do we have to make a poster too?

Each team must prepare a poster (portrait format - 32" wide x 40" tall) to display at the Design Showcase. These posters are typically made in PowerPoint, and they can be printed in the Engineering Copy Center (and direct billed to your project). Teams are responsible for bringing their posters to the Design Showcase, after which they will be gathered by the Learning Factory staff and delivered back to your home department for display. Examples of past posters are on display on the 1st and 3rd floors of the Leonhard Building, the 2nd floor of Reber Building, and in the Learning Factory.

Do I have to give anything to the Learning Factory?

At the end of the semester, the Learning Factory would like to get copies of:

  • Final project report (WORD & PDF versions) for our files and future reference
  • One-page project recap summary (WORD & PDF versions) to post with examples of past projects
  • Final project poster (for future display) 32" x 40" size, portrait orientation (POWERPOINT & PDF versions)

These must be downloaded onto a CD (not a DVD) and given directly to Cindy Winkelblech. Students are responsible for submitting copies of all documents to their instructors and sponsors as well for feedback, grading, and evaluation.

Learning Factory - Students - Expectations

How is this different from other project experiences?

Your capstone design experience will be unlike anything you have done in any of your other classes as you will be doing a real project for a real company. These companies are paying money for these projects, including your team's budget, and they are expecting something in return.

For many of you, it may be the first chance that you have had to apply your engineering theory and knowledge to help solve a "real" problem. For others, this may be your first "real" interaction with a company. For most of you, this will be the first "real" team project you have had - being effective as a team will take a lot more than it does to divvy up a homework problem set.

So what more is expected of me?

It should go without saying that you are expected to act in a professional manner - these are real companies that you are working with on these projects. Dress appropriately for meetings, be on time, stick to your schedule, don't miss meetings or be late on deliverables, don't send text messages while meeting with your sponsor, etc. These things may seem small, but they will be noticed as many companies treat this as a fifteen-week interview of the team. So do a good job, and they may offer you a job!

Keep in mind that your team's performance and conduct directly impacts our relationships with our industrial sponsors, and while missing a few teleconferences with your sponsor or misbehaving on a site visit may not immediately affect your team, it may make the company think twice before doing another project with us, which does impact future seniors. Conversely, delivering a high quality project on time, and within budget, helps us continue and strengthen these relationships.

Remember your actions not only reflect on you and your team, but also on Penn State - and people are watching. If you haven't encountered it yet, you will be amazed how many Penn State alumni are out working at companies like these.