Undergraduate laboratory exercises in core engineering courses do not always subscribe to the Problem Based Learning approaches advocated by the educational community [1–3]. Common shortcomings include “cookie cutter” labs where students are not engaged in experimental design as well as a general detachment from the “real world” application of the laboratory exercise. Soft skills like proper documentation during experiments as well as scientific writing may also be overlooked in lab curricula. This is unfortunate, as the undergraduate laboratory experience is a perfect opportunity to develop essential research skills as well as inspire and excite students about their chosen field.

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