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An Inexpensive Workstation For Teaching Statics In Machinery

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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

Curriculum Development in Mechanical ET

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.198.1 - 8.198.7



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Paper Authors

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Daniel Jones

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

Session 1737

A New Workstation for Teaching Statics in Machinery

Daniel K. Jones, Ph.D., P.E.

Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering Technology State University of New York, Institute of Technology


With increasing enrollment and decreasing funds for laboratory equipment, many professors are facing challenges in providing hands-on experience for students in engineering technology. To address these concerns, a simple, inexpensive workstation has been designed, built, and tested to teach students practical aspects of static equilibrium. During Fall 2002, this new workstation was used throughout the semester, and experiments were designed to provide a range of difficulty. Early in the semester, it was used to investigate static equilibrium of a particle; analysis only required summation of forces. Later in the semester, the same workstation was used to study equilibrium of a beam. This required students to add forces and moments to establish equilibrium.

After using the new workstation for one semester, the assessment process has begun. Laboratory reports and conversations with the students have provided feedback on the learning outcomes. Improvements to the laboratory handouts and mechanical enhancements to the workstation have also been identified. These changes will be implemented in future course offerings.


Statics in Machinery is a two-credit laboratory course that covers static equilibrium of particles and rigid bodies, structures, center of gravity, and friction. Lecture size has been expanded to accommodate 24 students, with half of the students in two separate lab sessions. With 12 students taking the lab together, 4 separate workstations were needed to provide hands-on experience in small groups.

The statics laboratory at this institution was already equipped with the following workstations: o Funicular Polygon o Basic Roof Truss o Center of Gravity o Reaction of Beams o Simple Moments o Three Wire Suspension

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

Jones, D. (2003, June), An Inexpensive Workstation For Teaching Statics In Machinery Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11818

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