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Introducing Hands On Simulation Activities In Introduction To Engineering & Engineering Technology Class To Keep Students Engaged

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Educating for Results: Tools used in Engineering Technology

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.801.1 - 13.801.9



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Paper Authors

author page

Alok Verma Old Dominion University

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

Introducing Hands-on Simulation Activities in the Introduction to Engineering and Engineering Technology Class to Keep Students Engaged


Low enrollment and high attrition rates have often plagued Engineering and Engineering Technology programs. Part of this problem can be attributed to the lack of engaging hands-on activities during the first year of instruction. Most engineering and technology programs require students to take natural science, math and some general education courses during the first two years with minimal technical content. To maintain student’s interest in the technical career path, it is important that students establish a link between the theoretical knowledge and its application to solve real life problems early in their learning experience. Simulation based activities have a proven record as instructional tool. Such activities have been used successfully in Lean Training programs in industry. Effectiveness of such activities as a pedagogical tool has been supported by research in the acquisition and retention of knowledge.

The Shipbuilding and Repair Career Day Events (SBRCD) project was funded by the National Shipbuilding research Program to increase awareness about shipbuilding and repair careers. Four simulation activities developed under the grant were incorporated into freshmen engineering course to encourage creative thinking and keep students engaged while providing information about shipbuilding and repair processes.

I. Introduction

The project team consisting of university faculty, industry personnel, school and community college teachers developed these four simulation activities learning experience related to shipbuilding and repair. These four activities have been designed as an integrated experience and each one builds upon the knowledge gained during the previous activity. First activity is related to shipyard operations which provide a big picture of how a shipyard operates. The second activity deals with cost estimation and construction of a ship. The third activity teaches about ship design and stability while the last one deals with the ship disaster investigation. These activities were used in an Introduction to Engineering class with very positive results. Student comments point to a very stimulating learning experience. The paper will discuss the design and development of these activities and its subsequent implementation within the classroom.

II. Freshman Engineering & Technology Courses

A two course freshman engineering and technology sequence was designed to help students transition into engineering and technology curriculum by providing general knowledge about career opportunities, professional certification and career paths while keeping them engaged with project based learning activities. ENGN-110 (2 credits) provides general

Verma, A. (2008, June), Introducing Hands On Simulation Activities In Introduction To Engineering & Engineering Technology Class To Keep Students Engaged Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3142

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