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Achieving Course Objectives: The Benefits Of A Hands On Design Competition

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Tools for Teaching and Learning

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.157.1 - 8.157.14



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Paper Authors

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Bret Van Poppel

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Shad Reed

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

Session 3166



Captain Shad Reed Major Bret Van Poppel United States Military Academy, West Point, New York


While there has been a push in the last few years to integrate more hands-on exercises in undergraduate education, all too often large enrollment engineering courses still rely on design projects that require complex analysis and optimization of a particular situation to achieve course, program, and institutional objectives. Often, these designs are restricted to a paper analysis and fail to give students the ability to feel the physics of what actually happens. For this, and a host of other reasons, a hands-on design project was sought for the Fluid Mechanics course at the United States Military Academy. A variant of the national Hydropower contest was selected. The project required teams of students to design, build and test a water turbine to lift either a small weight as quickly as possible, or a large weight given a constrained amount of water. This paper presents the educational benefits of the water turbine design and specifically assesses the extent to which the project assisted in the achievement of course objectives. Anecdotal evidence and survey data indicate that the project did contribute to the achievement of course objectives and that most students enjoyed the project even though it required more hard work than paper designs.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Van Poppel, B., & Reed, S. (2003, June), Achieving Course Objectives: The Benefits Of A Hands On Design Competition Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12138

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