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Engineering, But How?

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.443.1 - 6.443.11

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Alan Gomez

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

Session 2530

Engineering, But How?

Alan G. Gomez Madison West High School / University of Wisconsin


One of the most significant labor shortages the United States has is technologically oriented people. Every year our government accepts more and more people from foreign countries on work visas to place them in technology-related fields. Although we are doing more than we have in the past to give our students opportunities to become technologically literate, too often educators place students in front of computers and assume that computer literacy follows. Students need more than the computers and their programs. This article presents information about a 21st century program created in 1996: a comprehensive engineering program at Madison West High School within blocks of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin.

I. Introduction

Courses including Principles of Engineering 1&2, Materials Science, and Computer Aided Design, including mechanical design, 3D solid modeling and 3D animation, are the make-up of this 21st century high school engineering program.

Students in engineering courses participate in at least fourteen different case studies. These case studies are diverse in nature in order to give the students just a taste of many different types of engineering. Engineering ethics, thermodynamics, mechanisms intersection design and the construction of supermileage prototype vehicles are just a few of the case studies.

Materials Science students learn about the characteristics and uses for materials ranging from a simple polymer casting to phase diagrams of metallic alloys that they create and cast in class. Students learn about techniques and application process associated with many different materials throughout the 68 hands-on experiments.

Computer Aided Design is an area that has given students in the program a superior design experience that allows them to visualize their dreams and communicate this to other members of the team without simply relying on sketches and the spoken word. Students now have the ability to animate any of their proposed prototypes in the environment that they are to be used. These

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Gomez, A. (2001, June), Engineering, But How? Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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