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Impact of a Design Project on Engineering Physics: Motor does it really motivated our students?

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Innovations in Teaching and Research in Physics or Engineering Physics I

Tagged Division

Engineering Physics & Physics

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.681.1 - 23.681.9



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Paper Authors


Bala Maheswaran Northeastern University

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Northeastern University
211 Snell Engineering Center
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

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Impact of a Design Project on Engineering Physics: Motor does it really motivated our students? AbstractEngineering physics courses are the key gateway courses in engineering. Most engineeringstudents take one year of physics courses. The first semester materials cover mechanics basedphysics, which is taught in great detail at several high schools, but the second semester ofphysics, electricity and magnetism is somewhat new to several students. Motivating students tolearn these concepts individualistically in addition to the materials covered in class is achallenging task. One way to deal with this issue is to assign a design project as part of thecourse requirement.In this effort, students were given a team project to design and build an electric motor andoptimize its performance. Converting electrical energy to mechanical, and mechanical energy toelectrical in the magnetic domain is the fundamental and practical concept of this course, and fitswell with the goal of this study.There are several interesting physics concepts involved in this project such as voltage, resistor,current, circuit, magnetic field, magnetic flux, magnetic force on current carrying wire, torqueand more. The project also helps students to learn about the physical process and the theorybehind building the motor. For example, logic such as the force produced by the magnetic fieldon a current carrying wire is the fundamental behind rotation.This report will present detailed information about design requirement, materials provided,constraints, outcome and student feedback via assessment. At the end of the semester, a surveywas done to see how much the motor design project motivated our students to learn the coursematerials. About hundred students participated in the survey. The data was analyzed using aspreadsheet and the outcome will be reported in this paper.

Maheswaran, B. (2013, June), Impact of a Design Project on Engineering Physics: Motor does it really motivated our students? Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19695

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