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Introducing Freshmen To Construction Estimating And Scheduling Using K’nex Bridge Kits

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Curriculum Development in Civil and Architectural Engineering Technology

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.967.1 - 12.967.7



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Paper Authors


Carol Considine Old Dominion University

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Carol L. Considine is an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering Technology at Old Dominion University. She joined the faculty of Old Dominion University in fall 1999. She has fifteen years of industrial experience in construction estimating and project management. She received her B.S. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech and her M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.

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Vernon Lewis Old Dominion University

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Vernon W. Lewis, JR. P.E., Senior Lecturer, is Program Director of Civil Engineering Technology at Old Dominion University. He joined the faculty of Old Dominion University in January 1994. He has 30 years of professional experience in consulting, industry and forensic engineering and is registered in eight states. His areas of expertise include structural design, contract documents and materials testing.

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

Introducing Freshmen to Construction Estimating and Scheduling Using K’NEX Bridge Kits


The College of Engineering and Technology at Old Dominion University has developed project- based courses for freshmen engineering students in order to engage them in engineering early with the goal of increasing retention. The courses are divided into three five-week modules that are distributed among the various departments within the college. The Engineering Technology department is responsible for two of the five week modules. One module is comprised of all the engineering technology curriculums; civil, electrical and mechanical, and the other module is strictly a civil engineering technology project.

The civil engineering technology project is focused on the construction industry. Students are introduced to Civil Engineering as a discipline area, and then to the construction industry. Students are then taught how to estimate and schedule a simple bridge project using K’NEX Bridge Kits. Students build their bridges based on their estimates and can evaluate their quantity take offs for accuracy. This paper will describe the content of the module, describe how the bridge kits are used, and will detail the student enrollment changes that the civil engineering technology program has seen as a result of these projects based courses.


Engineering 110 and 111 are two courses described in the catalog as a " . . . . series of projects to introduce a variety of engineering and technology disciplines; hands-on experiences with selected engineering problems and issues; team approach to managing engineering projects; discovering the unknown, formulating solutions, designing, manufacturing and testing; emphasis on learning modules, communication and presentation skills, creativity and innovation." These classes were introduced in the Batten College of Engineering and Technology at ODU in an effort to increase retention among engineering students. Beginning engineering students are often overcome or discouraged by the fundamental math and science courses that are required as prerequisites to the core engineering design courses. These freshmen engineering courses give the students exposure to engineering in a manner that keeps the students’ interest alive without the rigors of mathematics for which the student is not prepared. The project-based classes introduce students to real life problems that are solved using engineering skills students will obtain through their degree programs.

Each course is organized into three five week-modules with approximately 35 students per section. This enables the freshmen students to be exposed to as many as six different engineering-discipline related projects during the course of their freshmen year. Engineering 110 is taught by the engineering departments within the college: civil and environmental, electrical and computer, and mechanical. Engineering 111 is taught by some of the same engineering departments but also includes two sessions taught by the Engineering Technology

Considine, C., & Lewis, V. (2007, June), Introducing Freshmen To Construction Estimating And Scheduling Using K’nex Bridge Kits Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2652

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