July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Engineering Physics and Physics
To provide first year engineering students with hands-on experiences and teach them the applications of both dynamics and other physics laws, this team project uses wooden derby vehicles (coupe, truck, and bus) that are propelled horizontally with various grades of model rocket engines. The vehicles have wheels, but they are also hooked on to and guided by a steel cable stretched along a 16- or 24-foot runway. Each vehicle was modified as follows: a hole was drilled in the back of the vehicle, then, an engine is inserted in the hole, and an altimeter that doubles as an accelerometer was fitted on top of the vehicle. The student team projects were centered on calculating the speed and distance curves by numerically integrating the acceleration data downloaded after each run with the goal calculating impact energy. Vehicles were constructed, painted, and fitted by the students. Drilling of 2″ long (45/64)″ diameter holes for engine insertions was performed by the staff. This project includes a significant application of MS Excel programming to accomplish the goals. Most of the students are introduced to MS Excel in this course. Students enjoyed this activity in the past as they learned how to code several sets of dynamics and other physics equations using MS Excel. They were also exposed to the idea of numerical integration. The students were able to study and apply the concept of integration as they analyzed data obtained from horizontal propulsion. The concept of area under the curve and its importance in engineering was introduced. Each team wrote a technical report that explained the overall project. Students used pictures and graphs to illustrate various parts of the project. Many students felt this was an exciting and a worthwhile learning experience that exposed them to concepts in science and engineering that they will be studying in future coursework. For the above set of activities for the Fall 2020 semester, the students’ learning survey will be analyzed to assess more formally educational effects of this project.
Sarper, H., & Jaksic, N. I. (2021, July), Horizontal Propulsion Using Model Rocket Engines (Part A) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37247
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