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Elementary And High School Students Building Virtual Bridges To Engineering Heights With Computer Aided Design

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

ETD Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.519.1 - 9.519.7



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Paper Authors

author page

David Cottrell

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

Session 1547

Elementary and High School Students Building Virtual Bridges to Engineering Heights with Computer Aided Design

David S. Cottrell Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg


This paper describes a work in progress. Direct coordination with school officials has authorized the use of a computer-aided design (CAD) software package originally developed as a vehicle for outreach to primary and secondary school students. This application research examines the successful initial implementation at the High School level and provides a status report on outreach efforts to fifth grade students enrolled in a program for gifted students. Although originally scheduled for completion in December, 2003, final implementation of this program will be realized in May, 2004. The students enrolled in this research effort will employ a CAD program designed to accomplish the following:

• Stimulate interest in engineering and design.

• Provide the user with an opportunity to perform a legitimate structural design, based on a realistic set of design specifications and constraints.

• Provide participants with an opportunity to use the computer as a problem- solving tool.

These students pursue a relatively simple objective: create and optimize bridge designs in seven categories featuring a variety of bridge spans and configurations. This paper provides an overview of Figure 1. Student Rendering of the Howe this initiative to these High School Truss Bridge from the West Point Bridge and Grade School students. Designer.

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

Cottrell, D. (2004, June), Elementary And High School Students Building Virtual Bridges To Engineering Heights With Computer Aided Design Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13137

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