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Increasing Student Curiosity with Cooling Systems

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Technical Session: Feeling the Heat - Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

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Paper Authors

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Jordan Farina University of Portland


Heather Dillon University of Portland Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Heather Dillon is an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Portland. She recently served as the Fulbright Canada Research Chair in STEM Education. Her research team is working on energy efficiency, renewable energy, fundamental heat transfer, and engineering education. Before joining the university, Heather Dillon worked for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) as a senior research engineer.

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Rebecca D. Levison University of Portland

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Rebecca Levison is a graduate research fellow working on her doctorate in education at the University of Portland. As a research fellow, Rebecca works on a KEEN assessment project and partnership between the School of Education and the School of Engineering to improve engineering education. When not working on the KEEN project, she works full time for Portland Public Schools as an ESL Teacher on Special Assignment. In that role, Rebecca writes science curriculum accessible to language learners that aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards and trains teachers how to implement new strategies for all learners.

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Nicole Ralston University of Portland

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The purpose of this research was to develop a classroom project module that increased student curiosity about cooling systems. The module was designed to help students connect with psychrometrics near the end of an applied thermodynamics course. Traditionally, many students struggle with the concepts covered in this unit of the course. The module was designed to lead the students to the working principles behind a swamp cooler by using the biological process of sweating as an example of a way to remove energy due to mass transfer. A student survey was developed and measured student perceptions about the new classroom module. Students reported they found the activities most helpful for helping them connect knowledge in the course with real world systems.

Farina, J., & Dillon, H., & Levison, R. D., & Ralston, N. (2020, June), Increasing Student Curiosity with Cooling Systems Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34820

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