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Experience Gained in Teaching in an Introductory Plastics Engineering Technology Course

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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

Alternative Teaching Methods

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

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Paper Authors


Rex C. Kanu Purdue Polytechnic Institute

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REX KANU is an Associate Professor of Practice in the Department of Mechanical Engineering Technology at Purdue University Polytechnic Institute in Richmond, Indiana. He has a B.S. and an M.S. in Chemical Engineering, an S.M. in Management Science, and a Ph.D. in Polymer Science.

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Teaching an introductory plastics engineering technology course can be very challenging because many students, for whom this may be a required course, have the preconceived notion that they will be bombarded with "chemistry," and not many students like chemistry, particularly, organic chemistry. So, over the years I have learned that it is not wise to start the plastics course with a study of plastic materials and their chemistry. Rather, I start the course with an overview of the plastics industry and then delve into plastics processing techniques. Students enjoy learning about how plastics are made into useful products. Processing techniques that are covered include injection molding, extrusion, blow molding, thermoforming, rotational molding, and compression molding. Right after a mid-semester exam, about nine weeks into the semester, the author starts exploring plastic materials with the students using rudimentary organic chemistry. The course is completed by examining issues dealing with managing plastics waste and sustainability.

In recent years, I have adopted the flipped classroom approach in delivering the course contents. The author would like to examine the impact of this new teaching approach on students’ learning outcomes.

Assessment of learning: Students learning outcomes will be assessed through a survey instrument, students’ course, evaluations, and average course grades.

Kanu, R. C. (2018, June), Experience Gained in Teaching in an Introductory Plastics Engineering Technology Course Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30475

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