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Learning Advanced Mathematics Through Engineering Design (Resource Exchange)

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

PCEE Resource Exchange

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Euisuk Sung Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Euisuk Sung is a Ph.D. candidate at Purdue University. He is majoring in Engineering and Technology Teacher Education. He has a computer science degree and experienced in working in a computer software company over three years. He served as an engineering and technology educator in middle and high schools for 9 years in South Korea. Currently he is working in an NSF granted , titled TRAILS. His research interests are design cognition, design process model, and all about STEM education.

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Scott R. Bartholomew Purdue Polytechnic Institute

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Scott R. Bartholomew, PhD. is an assistant professor of Engineering/Technology Teacher Education at Purdue University. Previously he taught Technology and Engineering classes at the middle school and university level. Dr. Bartholomew’s current work revolves around Adaptive Comparative Judgment (ACJ) assessment techniques, student design portfolios, and Technology & Engineering teacher preparation.

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Greg J. Strimel Purdue Polytechnic Institute Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Greg J. Strimel is an assistant professor of engineering/technology teacher education in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. His prior teaching experience includes serving as a high school engineering/technology teacher and a teaching assistant professor within the College of Engineering & Mineral Resources at West Virginia University.

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This project focuses on integrating an engineering design activity with learning an advanced mathematical concept. One of the goals of STEM education is to enhance students’ learning in math and science. The engineering design approach provides students with an authentic learning experience where they solve real world problems using scientific and mathematical knowledge. The problem-solving experience in engineering design not only helps students learn complicated math and science concepts in tangible ways, but also provides an opportunity to apply those learned concepts into real world problem-solving. Sometimes, however, the integrative STEM education is criticized for being too easy or difficult in light of students' developmental stages. Therefore, in this presentation, the authors will show proper STEM lessons targeted to high school students by aligning the high school geometry in Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. The lessons, titled M-Arch, were designed to teach the concept of trigonometry while students are constructing an arch bridge using a mathematic formula. In civil engineering, an arch bridge is a bridge with abutments at each end shaped as a curved arch. To build an arch bridge, a team of students will be asked to design seven pieces of bricks to make a half circle of arch. Then, students will learn how to calculate the widths of both bottom and top of each wood brick by applying the trigonometry formula. Using the values from the mathematical calculations, students will cut out seven pieces of wood and assemble them to make an arch bridge. The presenters will share the engineering and mathematical activities, as well as sample student work. Through this design activity, students will learn the concept of trigonometry in an easy way and apply the concept into the design task with the hands-on activity. Additionally, the students reported that they were motivated in learning engineering and mathematics and were interested in STEM careers after taking this design activity.

Sung, E., & Bartholomew, S. R., & Strimel, G. J. (2018, June), Learning Advanced Mathematics Through Engineering Design (Resource Exchange) Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30752

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