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Laboratory Exercises For Statics And Mechanics Of Materials On A Shoestring

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.420.1 - 5.420.24



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Paper Authors

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Paul F. Hadala

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Freddy Roberts

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David Hall

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

Session 3268

Laboratory Exercises for Statics and Mechanics of Materials on a Shoestring

David Hall, Paul Hadala, Freddy Roberts Louisiana Tech University


This paper outlines the design, construction, and fabrication of seven laboratory exercises and a design project for a sophomore level integrated statics and mechanics of materials course. The academic setting in which the course was created is given along with an overview of the course content. Each laboratory and design project is described in detail, including photographs, drawings of the equipment, student work requirements, principles demonstrated, and equipment design and fabrication. The experiences of the authors and their students with these projects during the Fall 1999 offering of the course are presented, and other classroom activities to enrich student learning are suggested.

I. Introduction

There is a nationwide movement to restructure engineering curricula to provide integration between the subjects of engineering, English, mathematics and the sciences 1,2,3. This integration, along with a strong emphasis on active learning, team activities and critical thinking, has been shown to significantly increase student retention and better prepare students for the situations they will face in the workplace. In response to this movement, The College of Engineering and Science at Louisiana Tech University has implemented a common, integrated curriculum for all engineering majors that spans the freshman and sophomore years4,5. The first of the three fundamental engineering courses taught in the sophomore year is ENGR 220, an introduction to engineering mechanics, which integrates selected topics from statics and mechanics of materials6.

Prior to the full implementation of the integrated curriculum in the 1999 - 2000 academic year, a traditional mechanics sequence of statics, mechanics of materials, dynamics and fluid mechanics was in-place for civil and mechanical engineering. One of the most significant problems associated with this traditional sequence is that students were taught to calculate forces in members, moments, centroids and moments of inertia in the statics course but were not shown how these quantities are used in engineering to analyze or design members until later courses. In ENGR 220 every concept of statics is followed by a description of its application in either analysis or design. By utilizing a “just-in-time” presentation of topics, students are motivated to learn by seeing how the concepts fit together within the context of engineering analysis and design.

ENGR 220 includes, in order of presentation, concurrent force systems; axial loads producing normal, shearing, bearing and tearout stresses at joints; axial deformations and strains; material properties, working stresses and factors of safety; moments; centroids and moments of inertia; rigid body equilibrium; plane trusses; frames and machines; friction; torsion; flexural loading,

Hadala, P. F., & Roberts, F., & Hall, D. (2000, June), Laboratory Exercises For Statics And Mechanics Of Materials On A Shoestring Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8526

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2000 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015