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Development of an Integrative Biomechanics Course for STEM Majors

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Course and Curriculum Development

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.460.1 - 25.460.14



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Paper Authors


Yogendra M. Panta Youngstown State University

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Yogen Panta is an Assistant Professor of mechanical rngineering at Youngstown State University, Ohio. He has been teaching and developing courses and research projects in the fluid thermal area. He is currently conducting applied research in thermo-fluids and computational fluid dynamics with local industries and federal agencies. Panta received a B.E. degree from Tribhuvan University, an M.S. degree from Youngstown State University, and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Panta’s research interests are in fluid dynamics, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), microfluidics/lab-on-chip, and energy research.

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Michael T. Butcher Youngstown State University

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Michael Butcher is an Assistant Professor in biological sciences in the College of STEM at Youngstown State University. Butcher received his Ph.D. in zoology with a specialization in muscle biomechanics from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. Butcher runs and active laboratory at YSU where he focuses on thee areas of comparative biomechanical research: evolution of bone loading and integrated hindlimb muscle-bone function, muscle architectural properties and function is digging lineages, and myosin heavy chain isoform expression and caudal muscle function in the prehensile tails of didelphid marsupials.

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Initiatives aimed at creating and offering specialized courses for STEM (Science, technology,Engineering and Mathematics) majors are generally not supported at Predominately UndergraduateInstitutions (PUI). However, it is imperative that our future scientists have opportunities toexperience a broad and integrative scientific education. In the growing STEM environment at variousuniversities around the globe, an interdisciplinary course that attract students from a number ofSTEM disciplines, offers cross-disciplinary innovative features, and provides training to preparestudents for the demands of modern science and biomaterials technology. We have proposed todevelop and implement an integrative biomechanics course for STEM majors at Youngstown StateUniversity (YSU). The aim of such type of interdisciplinary course curriculum is to provide studentswith an understanding of basic structure/function relationships of biological tissues and systems,mechanical principles governing animal locomotion, and mechanics of biofluids by engagingstudents with hands-on experiences in computational, demonstrational, and experimentallaboratories. To this end, this innovative and interdisciplinary course is designed to broaden theexperience of our STEM majors towards successful careers in STEM related fields. STEM studentscan be engaged in peer mentoring and learn from each other. For example, engineering students mayfacilitate biological sciences students learning mechanical principles of solids and fluids, whilebiological sciences students may facilitate engineering students learn anatomical features of animaltissues and systems. Integrative courses broaden the educational experiences of STEM majors, andmay serve as a general model for developing interdisciplinary STEM curricula at PUIs.

Panta, Y. M., & Butcher, M. T. (2012, June), Development of an Integrative Biomechanics Course for STEM Majors Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21218

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