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Drexel Students Rank First Among US Institutions in Fall 2017 Engineering Academic Challenge

November 29, 2017

Three men stand next to each other. One holds a laptop and the other look at the screenThis fall, 45 Drexel University students participated in the latest round of the Engineering Academic Challenge (EAC), scoring 7,247.81 points and leading Drexel to first place among the 21 participating US institutions and 5th place in the world.

Now in its 12th year, the Engineering Academic Challenge is a global online contest that uses game-based learning strategies to challenge engineering students while familiarizing them with Elsevier’s Knovel and Engineering Village databases. Jay Bhatt, Drexel’s Liaison Librarian for Engineering, along with a team of Drexel students, have designed these challenges since 2015.

As in the past, the Drexel University Libraries hosted two EAC marathon events this October to introduce students to the educational online game. Elsevier – the information analytics business responsible for the game – provided EAC-themed swag and snacks for students.

Throughout the seven-week EAC competition, information-seeking Drexel students played the interactive game, maintaining the University’s first place status among US institutions. Drexel – just one of 156 institutions from 20 countries that participated in the fall challenge – also moved up two places in the global competition, advancing from 7th place in 2016 to 5th place in 2017.

This year, Bhatt took a different approach to promoting the competition. Instead of simply hosting marathon events in the Libraries, Bhatt took the challenge directly to Drexel’s engineering classes. Throughout the seven-week challenge, he visited several mechanical, chemical and civil engineering classes to introduce students to the Knovel database and to get students interested in the game.

“The Engineering Academic Challenge (EAC) inspires active dialogue between Drexel librarians and the students participating in the challenge both before, during and after the game begins,” Bhatt explained. “The Libraries’ marathons can also be a great way for students to form interdisciplinary connections with their peers since game-based learning—specifically the EAC—usually requires students to interact with each other as well.”