To enhance the learning potential from traditional semester-long "projects" in individual and engineering courses, a novel steam engine design project was undertaken between two concurrent junior level mechanical engineering courses: Mechanical Design and Thermodynamics. As in traditional class projects, students were provided the opportunity to build team skills and gain hands-on experience. Utilizing student self assessment, this steam engine project was compared to a Stirling engine design project undertaken solely in a Mechanical Design Course. Students participating in the steam engine project reported increased use of both mechanical design and thermodynamics principles while undertaking the project as compared to those participating in the Stirling engine project. Steam engine project students also reported an increased development of team working skills.