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Hands On Classroom Learning In Material Engineering

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Developments in Chem Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.680.1 - 10.680.13



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Paper Authors

author page

Steve Sternberg

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

Hands-on classroom learning in material engineering

Dr Steve Sternberg

Associate Professor University of Minnesota Duluth Duluth Minnesota


Several hands-on, classroom based activities have been developed for use in a material science and engineering course taught at the University of Minnesota Duluth, Department of Chemical Engineering. These short (10 to 20 minute) in-class activities are inexpensive, easy, safe and do not require access to a laboratory, nor expensive testing equipment. The activities include: disassembling of consumer goods, building unit cells, crystallizing a super cooled liquid, testing tensile and compressive strength, testing ductility, cold working, concentrating stress, and observing electro-chemical corrosion. The designed activities highlight basic fundamental ideas from material science and help students build their working knowledge of materials behavior. This project has been implemented twice and results of student surveys show an increase in student interest and reported motivation. However, classroom assessment showed little difference in student achievement on exams.


Several short, simple, inexpensive, hands on activities have been developed. The activities promote interest in the course material and provide students opportunities to experience a range of properties and materials. Students work alone or in small groups to explore a material or set of properties. The students complete the activity in the classroom without need for laboratory space or time. The activities provide hands on kinesthetic experiences to enhance traditional classroom lecture. Mixing active learning activities with lectures increases student learning.13

This project was developed in a traditional lecture course, Material Science and Engineering, at the University of Minnesota Duluth, in the Department of Chemical Engineering. The course is a second semester, junior level course, with prerequisites of one year of general chemistry and one year of calculus. Typical class size has ranged from 20 to 35 students over the past five years, approximately 70 % of students are male, 90% are traditional students, and 15% are minorities.

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Sternberg, S. (2005, June), Hands On Classroom Learning In Material Engineering Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15423

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