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Inclusion Of Hands On Interactive Programs For Teaching Statics

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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

Improving Statics Instruction

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.737.1 - 10.737.8

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Paper Authors

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Ganapathy Narayanan

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

Session 1668

Inclusion of Hands-on Interactive Programs for Teaching Statics

G.V. Narayanan

University of Toledo

The Statics course is the first course in mechanics that is offered to the sophomore/junior mechanical engineering technology student. It is always a challenge to the student in terms of good understanding of the subject. Of course, the instructor plays an important part for his better understanding of the subject, even if the textbook is very good. The instructor knows the consequences of giving too many homework problems for each concept. Giving too few problems pose situations in which the students do not understand or master the subject matter. With the increase of students’ ability to use computers and programs, the instructor can introduce hands-on interactive programs that aid in teaching statics. There are not many such programs available specialized for teaching statics. Many commercial programs do exist for performing structural analysis, but not good enough to teach the principles of statics at a slower pace. In this paper, the hands-on interactive programs or modules, created or developed so far, are discussed in terms of teaching basic mechanics and statics. Such mini-programs can be interesting and rewarding to students in doing homework problems. Also, the student can do many more statics problems with the help of these programs than without them. It is also rewarding for the instructor who can make students learn more from this hands-on interactive approach.


The Statics course is the first course in mechanics that is offered to the sophomore/junior Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) student. It is somewhat of a difficult subject for the student who comes across mechanics for first time. The student is challenged with the concepts and understanding of the subject. A good instructor can help in the understanding of statics so the student is proficient in solving a variety of statics problems. One of the known teaching methods of making the student understand the subject is letting the student do a variety of statics problems. This will not only increase the student’s understanding of statics concepts and finding its engineering solution, but also this approach will let the student experience and gain knowledge of a variety of statics problems occurring in common engineering systems.

There exist many good texts that will aid the student in terms of experiencing and gaining the knowledge of a variety of statics problems. However, due to the students’ weakness in general mathematical analysis, many ET students have difficulty in reading these good texts as a self study. Even with the good instructor, the student cannot learn this subject unless the student himself experiences and does solve a good many statics problems. Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society of Engineering Education

Narayanan, G. (2005, June), Inclusion Of Hands On Interactive Programs For Teaching Statics Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon.

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