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Bottle Rockets And Parametric Design In A Converging Diverging Design Strategy

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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

Design Methods and Concepts

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

13

Page Numbers

11.281.1 - 11.281.13

DOI

10.18260/1-2--276

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/276

Download Count

291

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Paper Authors

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Paris von Lockette Rowan University

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Paris von Lockette is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Rowan University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1999. His interests include the physics of polymers and numerical / computational methods in materials science.

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Dom Acciani Rowan University

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Jennifer Courtney Rowan University

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Jennifer Courtney is an Assistant Professor of Writing Arts at Rowan University and received her PhD from Purdue University. Her interests include gender and communication and information literacy.

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Chenguang Diao Rowan University

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Chenguang Diao obtained his PhD from University of Maryland Baltimore County in 2004, received post-doctoral training in Carnegie Mellon University from 2004 to 2005. He has several years of industry experiences, and currently works as an Assistant Professor in Rowan University.

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William Riddell Rowan University

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WILLIAM T. RIDDELL is an Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rowan University. He previously worked at the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, and as a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow in the Mechanics of Materials Branch at NASA Langley Research Center.

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Kevin Dahm Rowan University

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Roberta Harvey Rowan University

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Roberta Harvey is an Assistant Professor of Writing Arts at Rowan University and has been a part of Rowan’s Sophomore Clinic team since 1998. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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

BOTTLE ROCKETS AND PARAMETRIC DESIGN IN A DIVERGING-CONVERGING DESIGN STRATEGY

Abstract

The Sophomore Engineering Clinic covers two semesters in an eight-semester design sequence. The course integrates engineering with writing and public speaking. In the past the course has used two semester-long design projects to teach design through a series of problems of increasing complexity. Though the course has been effective at teaching students to prototype devices, it has been less effective at teaching design as evidenced by written project documentation and observation of students' decision making processes. In the fall of 2005 the course was revised to incorporate a convergent-divergent framework to teach design. In addition, the semester-long project in the fall was replaced in favor of one four-week project followed by a ten-week project.

The initial four-week project was structured to formalize an approach to making choices using parametric studies in a diverging-converging design process. The design and construction of water-propelled bottle rockets from 2 L soda bottles was chosen as the initial four-week project. Students built and tested rockets which were limited in materials and construction. The limitations allowed the rockets to be characterized by three parameters: the mass of water used, the aspect ratio of fins used, and the mass of Playdoh used in a nose cone. Students generated parametric testing schedules and took data on the performance of their designs with respect to the variables in order to inform design choices. During the course, these steps towards a final design were linked to a diverging-converging framework for design thinking. At the end of the course all students had performed parametric studies of their rockets and rocket performance was improved both over the four weeks and as compared to previous years. In addition, the following ten-week project showed improvements in quantitative metrics of performance over the previous years.

Introduction

All students in the engineering curriculum at our university are required to take an eight-semester design sequence called the Engineering Clinics. The sophomore year of the Engineering Clinic series is devoted to Design and Communication. The course is team taught by faculty from multiple departments within the College of Engineering and the College of Communication. The students spend 160 minutes in an engineering lab period and 150 minutes in a communication class period per week. Two sections of the lab are run with about 60 students in each and six sections of the communication class with about 20 students in each. Assignments and grading are integrated through both communication- and engineering-specific sections, a trend that is gaining national acceptance1,2,3. In previous years the Sophomore Clinic has tasked students with various semester-long projects including the design and construction of residential bridges, music effects pedals, golf-ball launchers, motorized cranes, and load bearing truss systems. While these projects were successful at following the national trend of integrating design into the curriculum at this early stage 4,5,6,7,8 they were not as successful in teaching students to be good designers. In other words, students could competently apply the design skills learned in connection with the projects, but they were not thinking like designers.

von Lockette, P., & Acciani, D., & Courtney, J., & Diao, C., & Riddell, W., & Dahm, K., & Harvey, R. (2006, June), Bottle Rockets And Parametric Design In A Converging Diverging Design Strategy Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--276

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