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Evaluation of a flipped classroom freshman engineering mechatronics design project

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Understanding Student Development in Design

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Bin Lei Drexel University

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Bin Lei is a PhD candidate in the Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics Department. He received a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from National Taiwan University in 2006, and is expected to receive a M.S./Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics from Drexel University, USA, in 2018. He was a FAA-Drexel research fellow from 2012 to 2015 at the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center working on computational modeling and experimental evaluation of adhesively bonded repair technologies to aircraft fuselage structures. He was a teaching fellow from 2016 to 2018 at Drexel University. He was a course coordinator, an instructor, and a teaching assistant of multiple Computer Aided Design courses. His interests are in Engineering Education, Machine Design, Additive Manufacturing, Computational Mechanics, Fracture Mechanics, Non-Destructive Evaluation Technology, and Automatic System Control.

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Brandon B. Terranova Drexel University (Eng. & Eng. Tech.)

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Dr. Terranova is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the College of Engineering at Drexel University. In his current role, he is the lead instructor for the freshman engineering program, and oversees activities in the Innovation Studio, a large-area academic makerspace. He has taught and developed courses in general engineering and mechanical engineering at Drexel. Prior to Drexel, he has taught and developed courses in physics and mathematics at SUNY Binghamton, University of Delaware, Missouri Online College, and St. Mark’s High School. Dr. Terranova’s research interests include plasmonics, optical tweezing, photonics, electromagnetism, and engineering education. He received his MS in Physics from SUNY Binghamton, and his PhD in Electrical Engineering with a concentration in Electrophysics from Drexel University for his work in 3D plasmonic nanostructures.

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Here we present an account of the development and evaluation of a mechatronics design project, the Supercapacitor Car Challenge, intended for freshman engineering students. The project consists of four weeks of structured lab activities, two weeks of unstructured free design work, and a final week devoted to the design challenge, the Distance Trial.

At the onset of this seven-week project, students are given a kit with parts to build a standard car design, and some additional materials they need for lab activities throughout the design project. The standard car is powered by supercapacitors, and is designed to run for a short time until the charge in the supercapacitors is depleted. Students are to modify the design of the standard car to meet the objectives of the end-of-term design challenge.

The first four weeks of the project cover relevant electronics concepts and skills along with the fundamental physics underlying the performance of a toy car’s electromechanical system. During this project, students learn the basic underlying electromechanical theory while using various laboratory equipment and developing skills in conceptual design, electronic and mechanical prototyping, and system performance under engineering constraints.

This report provides an account of the development activities and results of a study of direct and indirect assessment. Students were provided entrance and exit surveys, and results of direct assessment assignments are presented to complement the survey data. The results of this study will be made available to the students who participated in the pilot section during the 2017-2018 academic year.

Lei, B., & Terranova, B. B. (2018, June), Evaluation of a flipped classroom freshman engineering mechatronics design project Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30452

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