July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
The ability to quickly and accurately find support reactions for simply supported beams is essential for students moving forward in the fundamental mechanics courses in civil and mechanical engineering degree programs. Students who simply try to memorize a procedure lack the insight to assess the validity of their answers and typically struggle on problems with unique loadings. To help statics students develop a more intuitive understanding of how loads distribute in a simply supported beam, an interactive teaching activity was developed that combines physical behaviors with numerical calculations. Students use a standard wooden ruler, which is simply supported on each end by small digital scales, a set of small weights and a series of guided activities to first estimate, then calculate, and finally physically observe the portion of a load carried at each end of the loaded ruler as indicated by the scales. Students progress from single point loads to triangulated distributed loads and prove superposition approaches are valid through the process. This paper provides images of the activity set-up along with the handout students receive to guide them through the lesson.
Nilsson, T. L. (2021, July), Five-minute Demo: Developing an Intuitive Understanding of Support Reactions Using an Interactive Teaching Activity Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37197
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