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A Design Project for a Mechanics & Statics Course

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Project-Based Learning

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.36.1 - 22.36.10



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Paper Authors


Robert A. Marlor Northern Michigan University

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Robert Marlor is an Associate Professor in the Engineering Technology Department at Northern Michigan University. He received a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (Structural Engineering) from Michigan Technological University in 2003. He is the faculty advisor for NMU SAE Baja team.

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A DESIGN PROJECT FOR A MECHANICS & STATICS COURSEWhen teaching engineering design concepts in engineering technology programs, instructors arechallenged to create realistic, hands on, intuitive design experiences at an early stage in thestudents’ development. This paper describes a balsa wood truss design competition used in aStatics & Mechanics course to motivate the learning of the concepts of static equilibrium andtruss analysis.Balsa wood bridge projects have been used to promote learning at several educational levels. Inthis particular student design project, the student must first analyze the forces in each member ofa truss, then determine the cross-sectional dimensions of each truss member and finally build andload test the truss. Over the course of more than twenty semesters, the details of this projecthave been refined to produce a realistic design experience that solidifies the learning of trussanalysis by requiring the student to both design and build a model truss.In this paper, detailed information will be presented on how to successfully incorporate thisproject experience into a Statics class in a time efficient manner.

Marlor, R. A. (2011, June), A Design Project for a Mechanics & Statics Course Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17318

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