Asee peer logo

An Interwoven Multisemester Dynamic Systems Project To Integrate Stem Material

Download Paper |

Conference

2006 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

What's New in Dynamics?

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count

20

Page Numbers

11.204.1 - 11.204.20

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/417

Download Count

28

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Peter Avitabile University of Massachusetts-Lowell

visit author page

Peter Avitabile is an Associate Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department and the Director of the Modal Analysis and Controls Laboratory at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He is a Registered Professional Engineer with a BS, MS and Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering and a member of ASEE, ASME and SEM.

visit author page

biography

Stephen Pennell University of Massachusetts-Lowell

visit author page

Stephen Pennell is a Professor in the Mathematics Department at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

visit author page

biography

John White University of Massachusetts-Lowell

visit author page

John R. White is a Professor in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

visit author page

biography

Charles Van Karsen Michigan Technological University

visit author page

Chuck Van Karsen is an Associate Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the Michigan Technological University.

visit author page

Download Paper |

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

AN INTERWOVEN MULTISEMESTER DYNAMIC SYSTEMS PROJECT TO INTEGRATE STEM MATERIAL

Abstract

Students generally do not understand how basic math and science material fits into all of their engineering courses. Because they have no clear-cut reason to embrace these concepts, the students hit the “reset button” after each and every course. This often comes back to haunt the students in subsequent upper level classes which require a firm understanding of this material.

A new multisemester interwoven dynamic systems project has been initiated to better integrate the material from differential equations, mathematical methods, laboratory measurements and dynamic systems across several semesters/courses so that the students can better understand the relationship of basic math and engineering material to an ongoing problem. This is emphasized with tutorial materials using graphical user interface (GUI) modules to instill concepts. Several experimental systems (including first and second order response) are used to illustrate many of these concepts in an interwoven fashion.

These materials have been implemented in the Mechanical Engineering curriculum at UMASS Lowell for the Mathematical Methods course, two Mechanical Engineering Laboratory courses and a Dynamic Systems course. The materials have also been extended and implemented in both the Mathematics Department and Chemical Engineering Department at UMASS Lowell. Also, the materials have been adapted and implemented in three courses at Michigan Technological University in the Mechanical Engineering Department. This paper highlights the overall concept underlying the new approach. A description of the project and modules (analytical and experimental) under development is presented.

Introduction (or Motivation)

Many students do not understand the need for basic STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) material that is critical to the solution of engineering problems. Closely related material may be spread out over several courses. By the nature of the structure of semesters (or quarters), material is grouped together into logical units to allow for material to be deployed in a controlled fashion with specific timetable that integrates the material in the student’s academic career. Unfortunately, students don’t understand this. As far as they are concerned, the material does not appear to have any connection to other material from previous courses. This then makes the material appear to be unimportant. Students naturally tend to hit the “reset button” after each and every course since there is no apparent reason to want to actively retain the information. All professors encounter this problem as depicted in Figure 1.

Avitabile, P., & Pennell, S., & White, J., & Van Karsen, C. (2006, June), An Interwoven Multisemester Dynamic Systems Project To Integrate Stem Material Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/417

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2006 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015