Salt Lake City, Utah
June 20, 2004
June 20, 2004
June 23, 2004
9.383.1 - 9.383.8
Design of an Inexpensive Optics Demonstration/Experimentation Kit for Middle School
Edmund Tsang and Andrew Kline
College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Western Michigan University
An inexpensive and user-friendly optics kit has been designed and a working prototype built for middle-school teachers for demonstration and for middle-school students for experimentation in light reflection, refraction, absorption, and transmission. The end product integrates the disciplines of industrial design, engineering, engineering technology, and business, and it demonstrates the iterative processes of engineering design and product development. It is also the sum of the creative efforts of first-year engineering students, senior Industrial Design students, junior business students, and senior industrial and manufacturing students. Finally, this project is an example of the products and services of the Engineering Design Center for Service- Learning located at Western Michigan University to enhance K-12 mathematics and science teaching and learning.
The subject of light reflection, refraction, absorption, and transmission is first introduced in the middle-school science curriculum (often taught in 7th grade). However, middle-school textbooks give incomplete and sometimes even incorrect impression of these phenomena by describing light reflection, refraction, absorption, and transmission as discrete and separate – see Figure 1 (a) and (b) below. In reality, these phenomena take place concurrently in materials such as quartz – see Figure 1 (c) -- in fiber optics communication.
This paper will describe the work by first-year engineering students, senior Industrial Design students, junior business students, and senior industrial and manufacturing students in designing, testing, revising, and building a working prototype OPTX (Optical Phenomena Teaching and eXperiment kit), which can be used by teachers to demonstrate or by students to experiment with light reflection, refraction, absorption, and transmission. The paper will conclude by describing the Western Michigan University Engineering Design Center for Service-Learning which sponsors the project.
The Initial Design
“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright c 2004. American Society for Engineering Education”
Tsang, E. (2004, June), Design Of An Inexpensive Optics Demonstration/Experimentation Kit For Middle School Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/13760
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