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Curriculum Integration Of Engineering Technology Courses With The Solar Car Project At Middle Tennessee State University

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.181.1 - 3.181.7



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B. S. Sridhara

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


Session 3233

Curriculum Integration of Engineering Technology Courses with the Solar Car Project at Middle Tennessee State University

B. S. Sridhara Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU)


The US Department of Energy (DOE) organizes a solar car race called Sunrayce, once in every two years. The race is nationally sponsored by corporations such as GM and EDS. It is open for all colleges and universities in North America. As faculty advisor for the solar car team at MTSU, the author submitted a proposal in the Spring of 1996 and we were selected to compete in Sunrayce 97. We were one of the top 30 teams to receive an award of $2,000 from the Sunrayce headquarters. The team consisted of 15 members who designed, fabricated and tested our second solar car, the Solaraider II. In the process, they learned the principles and applications of solar energy, electricity, engineering mechanics, aerodynamcs, machine design, composite fabrication, team work and management, and fund raising. We received help from MTSU and local industries. Our team members worked with the engineers, managers, technicians and machinists at the sponsoring industries and built many parts of the car. We raised approximately $40,000 in cash and gift-in-kind working cooperatively with the Development office at MTSU. the author identified several problems related to the solar car with courses such as Basic CADD, Solid Modeling, Advanced CAD, Statics, Dynamics, Strength of Materials, Senior Problem in Engineering Technology, Energy and Environmental Safety, and Shop Problems. The students received credit in these courses for a term project, paper, final project or special problems, which contributed 25-75% towards the final grade. We worked with the College of Mass Communications at MTSU and produced a video tape on the Solaraider II project which served as a good subject for their Corporate Video Production course. Our solar car project was a success and we participated in Sunrayce 97 in June along with teams from several top-ranking schools in the U.S. and Canada.

Middle Tennessee State University

Our university is located in Murfreesboro, about 30 miles to the southeast of Nashville. MTSU was founded in 1911 and is the fastest growing university in the state of Tennessee. Currently, the student enrollment is approximately 18,000 and we have 700 full-time faculty members. The university has five colleges; Basic and Applied Sciences, Business, Education, Liberal Arts, and Mass Communication. Engineering Technology and Industrial Studies is one of the 10 Departments under the college of Basic and Applied Sciences. We offer Engineering Technology, Industrial Technology,

Sridhara, B. S. (1998, June), Curriculum Integration Of Engineering Technology Courses With The Solar Car Project At Middle Tennessee State University Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--7008

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