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A Building Block Approach To Dynamics

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Conference

2002 Annual Conference

Location

Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Innovations in Teaching Mechanics

Page Count

7

Page Numbers

7.12.1 - 7.12.7

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/10686

Download Count

42

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Paper Authors

author page

Marilyn Smith

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Main Menu Session 2058

A Building-Block Approach to Dynamics Marilyn J. Smith School of Aerospace Engineering Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA 30332-0150

Abstract

The transition from memorization of formulae to the independent thinking required in engineering courses is accomplished via courses typically entitled “Statics” and/or “Dynamics”. These courses, in particular Dynamics, pose a major hurdle for some students who wish to become engineers. They are known at many universities as “gate” or “weed-out” courses. Since competency in the principles of these courses is necessary for success in the higher-level courses, teaching practices that improve a student's learning and motivation in the course are desired. This paper discusses a practice that has proven successful for a dynamics course that included students in different years and majors, as well as a class of sophomores of one major.

Introduction

The transition from memorization of formulae, a process that can succeed in high school and collegiate Physics courses, to the independent thinking required in engineering courses is accomplished via courses typically entitled “Statics” and/or “Dynamics”. These courses, in particular Dynamics, pose a major hurdle for some students who wish to become engineers. Not only must the student recall the principles learned in calculus and physics, but the student must also utilize basic geometric and trigonometric concepts that have may been buried since middle and early high school.

Competency in Dynamics can be viewed as successfully building a bridge between science and engineering. The pre-requisite mathematics and physics are crucial to developing a stable foundation. Each new concept - the kinematics and kinetics of translating and rotating bodies - is a block necessary to building this bridge. The lack of one of these concepts will cause an instability in the learning structure since concepts introduced as the course progresses require that all previous material be thoroughly understood.

The traditional collegiate method of lecturing and testing in these classes may cause some promising students to falter in these courses. Traditionally, three to four tests are given during the course, each accounting for 15% to 25% of the final grade. Because testing is infrequent, each test requires the utilization of concepts in multiple problems. Recognition by the student and professor that a concept is not well understood comes too late to help the student's grade and self-esteem. Subsequently, some students may drop the course, change majors, or give up on succeeding in the course and/or engineering.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ã2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Smith, M. (2002, June), A Building Block Approach To Dynamics Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. https://peer.asee.org/10686

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