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Designing a Laboratory Ecosystem Framework, and Scaffolding an Interactive Internal Combustion Engine

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Experimentation and Laboratory-Oriented Studies Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Experimentation and Laboratory-Oriented Studies

Page Count

18

DOI

10.18260/1-2--32611

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32611

Download Count

148

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Paper Authors

biography

David MacNair Georgia Institute of Technology

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Dr. MacNair serves as Director of Laboratory Development in the Woodruff School, and manages Junior and Senior level laboratories in Mechanical Engineering. He develops innovative laboratory experiences based on lessons-learned from the maker movement and real-world industrial challenges, and is building an "ecosystem" of academic laboratory equipment and curriculum resources which allows universities to collaborate on the development and execution of effective undergraduate laboratory experiences.

Dr. MacNair joined the Woodruff School in 2015 after working for the Georgia Tech Research Institute, and as an Educational Consultant for Enable Training and Consulting and National Instruments before that. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering in 2008 and his PhD in Robotics in 2013, both from Georgia Tech.

In his non-work hours, David serves as founder and President of the Atlanta Maker Alliance (Atlanta Leadership for the Maker Movement) as well as Executive Director of the Roswell Firelabs (a community education-focused maker space). He also guides the development and investment of various Atlanta-based foundations and non-profits targeting K-12 education.

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David Edward Torello Georgia Institute of Technology Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-8565-5038

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Dr. David Torello graduated with his B.S. in mechanical engineering from UC Berkeley and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is currently non-tenure track faculty in mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech, lecturing in mechanics related disciplines and directing the A. James Clark Scholars Program.

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biography

Jeffrey A. Donnell Georgia Institute of Technology

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Jeffrey Donnell coordinates the Frank K. Webb Program in Professional Communication at Georgia Tech’s George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

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Abstract

Designing a Laboratory Ecosystem Framework, and Scaffolding an Interactive Internal Combustion Engine

Interactive experimental methodology and systems level analysis tie together core concepts of Engineering with real-world practice, but effective experimental devices can require immense effort to develop and, when designed poorly, can add huge cognitive load (or learning pain) with little benefit. This paper presents a modular laboratory ‘ecosystem’ and methods for leveraging the tools and resources of the ecosystem to build scaffolded threads across an engineering curriculum. As an example, the ecosystem powers a progression across Junior Experimental Methods and Senior Systems Laboratory culminating with an in-depth analysis of an Internal Combustion Engine (at a scale of 280-300 Mechanical Engineering students per semester). The curriculum introduces instrumentation, calibration, and low-level analysis concepts in the Junior year, and then leverages students’ experience to power a Senior-level multi-week progression studying an energy balance between flywheel inertia, piston inertia, air pressure, and thermal effects of the engine. Students isolate each effect through targeted instrumentation, and disassembling of components (eg. the head) to created simplified sub-systems. The engine can also use alternative forms of power such as an electric motor, compressed air, or propane to mitigate safety concerns and provide additional layers of analysis. The modular ecosystem allows students to instrument the engine with ecosystem components (force transducers, timing sensors, motors, etc.) used in previous projects/courses, avoiding negative cognitive load and saving development effort. Adopting common ecosystem equipment across multiple universities can also allow greater collaboration and shared curriculum development.

MacNair, D., & Torello, D. E., & Donnell, J. A. (2019, June), Designing a Laboratory Ecosystem Framework, and Scaffolding an Interactive Internal Combustion Engine Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32611

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