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Hands-on Laboratory Exercises for Engineering Applications of Mathematics Course

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Conference

2019 FYEE Conference

Location

Penn State University , Pennsylvania

Publication Date

July 28, 2019

Start Date

July 28, 2019

End Date

July 30, 2019

Conference Session

M3A: Learning in Context 1

Tagged Topic

FYEE Conference - Paper Submission

Page Count

7

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/33708

Download Count

13

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Paper Authors

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Aysa Galbraith University of Arkansas

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Dr. Aysa Galbraith is a Teaching Assistant Professor of First-Year Engineering Program at University of Arkansas. She received her PhD in Chemical Engineering from Chemical and Biomolecular Department at North Carolina State University in 2006. She is responsible from teaching Introduction to Engineering and Engineering Applications of Mathematics courses, developing course materials, and advising freshman engineering students.

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Heath Aren Schluterman University of Arkansas

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Dr. Heath Schluterman is a Clinical Assistant Professor and the Associate Director of Academics for the Freshman Engineering Program at the University of Arkansas. Dr. Schluterman completed his B.S. and Ph.D in Chemical Engineering at the University of Arkansas.

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Leslie Bartsch Massey University of Arkansas

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Leslie Massey is an instructor in the First-Year Engineering Program at the University of Arkansas. She received her BS in Biological Engineering and MS in Environmental Engineering from the University of Arkansas. She previously served as a project manager at a water resources center, but returned to the University of Arkansas to teach general Introduction to Engineering and to coordinate for the First-Year Honors Innovation Experience.

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Brandon Crisel

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I am a 10 year veteran instructor at the University of Arkansas with a BS and MS in Mathematics with emphasis in Statistics and applied Math. I began working in the Math Department, teaching service courses. While there, I taught College Algebra, Math for Elementary Teachers 1&2, Mathematical Reasoning, and Finite Mathematics. I also helped spearhead our department's online initiative to both flip classes while simultaneously creating an online program for our service courses. I was also the Testing Coordinator, where I managed the Testing and Tutoring Centers and their staff. I also created, maintained, supported, and administered the Online Math Placement Test and its related documentation. Through this job, I grew a relationship with the members of our Freshmen Engineering Program (FEP) as their students were one of the largest populations that interacted with the placement exam. Later, an opportunity arose to take a position that would be a 50/50 split between Math and FEP, where I taught sequences of Introduction to Engineering themed in Electronics, Robotics, and Structures. I have since moved entirely to a full time instructor for FEP, where I have helped redesign the Electronics and Robotics theme and where we are looking to introduce a common Computing theme.

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Abstract

Hands-On Laboratory Exercises for Engineering Applications of Mathematics Course

This is an abstract for a full paper.

In Fall 2007, the First-Year Engineering Program (FEP) was started with the intent of increasing student retention and success. One of the main hindrances to retention at a public university engineering program with open enrollment is the unpreparedness of students for rigorous curriculum requirements of the first year. In an effort to help first year engineering students who are one or two semesters behind Calculus I, FEP offers Engineering Applications of Mathematics (E-Math) course, which was inspired by the Wright State model for Engineering Mathematics Education. E-Math aims to teach College Algebra, Precalculus, and introductory Calculus I concepts using self-paced lectures focused on engineering applications and supported by hands-on laboratory exercises. FEP gained permission of the Department of Mathematical Sciences to have E-Math course count as a prerequisite to Calculus I, so successful students who finish the course with a “C” or better are able to enroll in Calculus I next semester.

This paper focuses on hands-on labs that support the mathematical concepts and incorporate immediate applications of these concepts so that students can relate what they learn to real-life situations. Also, most labs require students to turn in a lab write-up, which targets to develop students’ scientific communication skills. There are ten hands-on labs developed for this course; we will discuss the following seven in detail. In One-Loop Circuits Lab (inspired by Wright State), students create a circuit, measure voltage and current, and find the unknown value of resistors using linear trendlines in Excel. In Falling Ball Lab, students use an ultrasonic sensor and the Lego Mindstorm EV3 software to create a quadratic graph of time versus height of a falling ball, and then they analyze their data to approximate the acceleration of gravity. In Pennywise Lab, students are given a clear vial containing an unknown distribution of pre- and post-1982 pennies and asked to incorporate systems of linear equations to determine the number of pre- and post-1982 pennies. In Height of Trees Lab, students are given limited materials, asked to make an apparatus, and apply right triangle trigonometry to measure the height of trees outside of the engineering building. In Wind Turbine Lab, students use Lego wind turbines attached to the Lego Mindstorm EV3 brick to measure rotation time for blades and make velocity calculations. In Orienteering Lab, first students use vectors to describe a path to get to a location on university campus, and as a follow-up they follow another group’s directions to find and identify their location. Students repeat the Falling Ball Lab at the end of the course, but this time, they use derivatives instead of quadratic functions for their analyses and calculations.

We examine the course evaluation survey and end of semester results to evaluate the student response to hands-on labs. We also briefly discuss success of students in E-Math.

Galbraith, A., & Schluterman, H. A., & Massey, L. B., & Crisel, B. (2019, July), Hands-on Laboratory Exercises for Engineering Applications of Mathematics Course Paper presented at 2019 FYEE Conference , Penn State University , Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/33708

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2019 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015