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Creating Laboratories to Aid Student Modeling Ability in Calculus I

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Mathematics Division Technical Session 2

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Paper Authors


Ashley Bernal Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Ashley Bernal is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. She received her PhD from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2011. She was an American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) teaching fellow and Student Teaching Enhancement Partnership (STEP) Fellow. Prior to receiving her PhD, she worked as a subsystems engineer at Boeing on the Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems (JUCAS) program. Her research areas of interest include piezoelectrics, nanomanufacturing, optical measuring techniques, and intercultural design.

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Jeffery J. Leader Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology


Jessa B. Ward Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Jessa Ward is a master's student in the Biology and Biomedical Engineering Department at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. She is interested in biomechanics, prosthetics, and orthotics. More specifically, her thesis work is examining the biomechanics of Kinesio tape.

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In this paper we will report on the development and deployment of a laboratory sequence for Calculus 1 students. To aid student understanding of calculus concepts, a multidisciplinary team from XXX institution created four laboratories to accompany Calculus I instruction. The team worked together developing learning objectives, appropriate concepts, and physical implementations. Laboratory 1 explored differentiation and a Resistor-Inductor circuit. Students learned to build a simple circuit on a breadboard and used an oscilloscope to measure the response of the circuit to a static and varying signal. Laboratory 2 investigated time-varying weight. Students measured the weight of water in a bucket as the bucket filled and then released water. Laboratory 3 modeled the infusion of medicine into a patient using a saline solution. Students examined both a continuous infusion and an infusion pulse and determined time constants for the process. Laboratory 4 required students to build a Resistor-Capacitor circuit and measure voltages. Students also determined gain and phase shift as a function of frequency. Initial observations indicate that students enjoy the laboratory setting. In order to assess the impact of the addition of laboratories, final exam scores from the laboratory section will be compared with final exam scores from the traditional section. In addition, faculty in the introductory instrumentation course will compare preparation of students in the new math class to students from the traditional math classes.

Bernal, A., & Leader, J. J., & Ward, J. B. (2018, June), Creating Laboratories to Aid Student Modeling Ability in Calculus I Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30235

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