Asee peer logo

Designing Experimental Procedures: A Low Cost, Hands On Project That Students Actually Enjoy

Download Paper |


2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Trends in Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.383.1 - 7.383.5



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Shad Reed

author page

Donna Dorminey

Download Paper |


Because many students are unfamiliar with the development of experimental procedures, a project was sought that would allow students to use the design process to generate an optimal experimental procedure. An experiment that required students to determine the coefficient of drag for a small, dollar-store parachute figurine was selected. After a brief introduction to the pertinent theory, students were tasked to determine a governing equation for the experiment, identify measurable variables, generate concepts for experimental procedures, evaluate them based on customer requirements, conduct the experiment, analyze the results, and suggest improvements for subsequent iterations. Survey data indicates that most students enjoyed the project even though it required hard work, and that most learned how to design an optimal experimental procedure.

Reed, S., & Dorminey, D. (2002, June), Designing Experimental Procedures: A Low Cost, Hands On Project That Students Actually Enjoy Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10096

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2002 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015