June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies
11.158.1 - 11.158.9
Adding a Hands-On Laboratory Experience to the Freshman Engineering Programming Class at Clarkson University
Clarkson University received a grant from the National Science Foundation to effect curriculum reform by adding more hands-on experiences in engineering classes. The first class for attempted reform was the freshman engineering class ES100, Introduction to Engineering Use of Computers, a second-semester freshman year course taken by approximately 350 students; nearly all engineering majors.
One of the desired changes to the course was to incorporate laboratory experiments that could be performed by the students to further pique their interest in engineering and to generate real-world data sets for processing, analysis and reporting. The experimental system developed was designed around an alternative energy system, i.e., a fuel cell apparatus. This setup included a solar panel, an electrolyzer, two gas holding tanks, two fuel cells and a variety of load devices, e.g., thermoelectric cells, small motors, etc. Details of the experimental setups and the logistics to incorporate these into the class are presented.
In 2003, Clarkson University received a grant from the National Science Foundation entitled "Hands-On Learning in Engineering". The major goal of this project was to increase the number and quality of hands-on experiences in engineering classes. The first class for attempted reform was the freshman engineering class ES100, Introduction to Engineering Use of Computers. ES100 is a second-semester freshman year course taken by approximately 350 students; nearly all are engineering majors.
Prior to the Spring of the 2004-2005 academic year, ES100 was handled independently by each of four engineering departments, each with their own instructor, teaching solely to their own majors, using their own, independent syllabus and typically, taught in a lecture hall format. There was no coordination between sections, no required standardization of computer languages or tools and no shared vision for the outcomes of the course. None of the sections included any laboratory experience outside of computer lab.
The reform of this class involved all four engineering departments and was actively supported by the administration of the Coulter School of Engineering. Two teams of faculty and graduate students were formed: one to work on the overall curriculum issues and one to develop multi-disciplinary laboratory experiments. The lecture portion of the course now emphasizes the use of MATLAB software to model and analyze simple systems. All sections are coordinated and involve instruction in a computer classroom with emphasis on hands-on exercises. Another of the desired changes to the course was to incorporate laboratory experiments that could be performed by the students to further
Bean, J., & Carroll, J., & Dempsey, J. P., & Strong, A. H., & Wilcox, W. R. (2006, June), Adding A Hands On Laboratory Experience To The Freshman Engineering Programming Class At Clarkson University Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1278
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