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A Simple Beam Test: Motivating High School Teachers To Develop Pre Engineering Curricula

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Conference

2001 Annual Conference

Location

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001

ISSN

2153-5965

Page Count

16

Page Numbers

6.98.1 - 6.98.16

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/9775

Download Count

805

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Paper Authors

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John Johnston

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Ed Dammel

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S.K. Ramesh

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Eric Matsumoto

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

Session 2326

A Simple Beam Test: Motivating High School Teachers to Develop Pre-Engineering Curricula Eric E. Matsumoto, John R. Johnston, E. Edward Dammel, S.K. Ramesh California State University, Sacramento

Abstract

The College of Engineering and Computer Science at California State University, Sacramento has developed a daylong workshop for high school teachers interested in developing and teaching pre-engineering curricula. Recent workshop participants from nine high schools performed “hands-on” laboratory experiments that can be implemented at the high school level to introduce basic engineering principles and technology and to inspire students to study engineering. This paper describes one experiment that introduces fundamental structural engineering concepts through a simple beam test. A load is applied at the center of a beam using weights, and the resulting midspan deflection is measured. The elastic stiffness of the beam is determined and compared to published values for various beam materials and cross sectional shapes. Beams can also be tested to failure. This simple and inexpensive experiment provides a useful springboard for discussion of important engineering topics such as elastic and inelastic behavior, influence of materials and structural shapes, stiffness, strength, and failure modes. Background engineering concepts are also introduced to help high school teachers understand and implement the experiment. Participants rated the workshop highly and several teachers have already implemented workshop experiments in pre-engineering curricula.

I. Introduction

The College of Engineering and Computer Science at California State University, Sacramento has developed an active outreach program to attract students to the College and promote engineering education. In partnership with the Sacramento Engineering and Technology Regional Consortium1 (SETRC), the College has developed a daylong workshop for high school teachers interested in developing and teaching pre-engineering curricula. With the guidance of faculty and students, recent workshop participants from nine local high schools performed “hands-on” laboratory experiments and received a workshop manual containing handouts and ideas for lesson plans, as well as other literature. The highly-interactive workshop format allowed teachers to explore ideas which can be easily implemented at the high school level to motivate students to study engineering.

This paper describes one experiment that can be used to introduce fundamental structural engineering concepts to students through a simple beam test. In addition to explaining experimental procedures, the following sections review basic structural engineering concepts necessary for high school teachers to successfully implement the experiment. The approach

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Johnston, J., & Dammel, E., & Ramesh, S., & Matsumoto, E. (2001, June), A Simple Beam Test: Motivating High School Teachers To Develop Pre Engineering Curricula Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. https://peer.asee.org/9775

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