July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
This Work-in-Process paper summarizes our current effort to re-design our ME curriculum to adjust the issue of lacking critical thinking practice in traditional laboratory courses. Five 1-credit topic-based laboratory courses are consolidated into a single 3-credit problem-based laboratory course. This new course aims to improve student cognitive skills and prepare them to plan and conduct investigations on complex system-level problems. Students will revise engineering principles through solving 21st-century engineering problems surrounded the topics, Sustainability, Big Data, Advanced Manufacturing, Autonomy and Robotics, and Energy. The engineering principles being focused in this course are Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics, Solid Mechanics, Materials, and Chemistry, five-core fundamental ME knowledge identified by our faculty and Industrial and Professional Advisory Council (IPAC) members.
To gradually enhance students' higher-order thinking, this course is structured in multiple levels, follows the six levels of Bloom's taxonomy, Remember, Understand, Apply, Analyze, Evaluate, and Create. In each level, a real-world engineering problem will be used to initiate thinking, connect multi-week hands-on activities, and facilitate group discussion. Students apply prior knowledge from ME core curriculum courses to solve the problem, at the same time, utilize essential practical skills for the future workplace. Skills included Data Analysis, Data Acquisition, Critical Thinking, Numerical Simulation, Problem Solving, and Design of Experiment.
In this work, we summarize a total of nine multiple-weeks lab activities, which designed to prepare students to work in both thermal and mechanical systems. Here we include three examples,
1. Apply statistics knowledge to solve the problem - How can smartwatch measure and classify our activity? Students have to remember statistics knowledge in junior-level courses, identify and select the proper method and equation to analyze the data, then apply them to extract valuable information. 2. Analyze dependent parameters in heat transfer to solve the problem - What are the best heating strategies for Lithium-ion batteries in cold weather? Students will apply heat transfer knowledge, e.g., conduction, convection, and insulation, to perform numerical simulations and hands-on experiments to study the effect of parametric variation in heat transfer rate. 3. Create and design control logic to solve the problem - How to drive an autonomous vehicle along a planned route? Students will apply basic kinematic, control, and mechatronics knowledge to program ground robotics to perform different tasks in an autonomous vehicle town.
Lastly, following the new ABET student outcome (3), an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences, students will practice preparing different written and oral deliverables for a variety of audiences in this course. Students' submissions will alternate between homework, tradition project report, email, presentation, and video journal. Each format will explore the communication styles necessary to reach specific audiences, e.g., peers, coworkers, supervisors, and the general public. We anticipate this new course will be pilot in FA 2021 after the new lab space construction is going to be completed in SP 2021.
Leung, S. L., & Marsh, E., & Lynch, S., & Sommer, H. J., & Brennan, S. N., & Wong, T., & Foley, B. M., & Mongeau, J., & Cortes, D. H., & Thole, K. A. (2021, July), A New Approach to Equip Students to Solve 21st-Century Global Challenges: Integrated Problem-Based Mechanical Engineering Laboratory Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36597
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2021 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015