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Trait mindfulness in an engineering classroom: An exploration of the relationship between mindfulness, academic skills, and professional skills

Beth Rieken, Mark Schar, Sheri Sheppard


This research explores the intersection of mindfulness and engineering education. Among the reported benefits of mindfulness are enhanced cognitive flexibility, improved concentration, and increased emotional intelligence. These characteristics may be beneficial to engineers as they tackle increasingly complex and interdisciplinary challenges. This research looks at trait mindfulness of 75 students in an introductory engineering course. Results show that mindfulness correlates with business skills self-efficacy (including interpersonal skills) but not with mechanics self-efficacy or final grade. There is also a correlation between mindfulness and the intent to pursue a career in a small company or in an entrepreneurial start-up company. Implications of this research suggest that mindfulness-based classroom activities may help broaden the engineering education experience.