Albuquerque, New Mexico
June 24, 2001
June 24, 2001
June 27, 2001
6.98.1 - 6.98.16
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
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.
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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