June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.876.1 - 10.876.9
Learning by doing: An innovative laboratory exercise to enhance the understanding of thin-walled Mechanics of Materials
Gillian N. Saunders-Smits, Jan de Vries
Faculty of Aerospace Engineering Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands
Introduction Mechanics is widely considered to be the core of any type of construction engineering course in the world, be it a mechanical, aerospace or naval architecture engineering course. Yet at the same time it also considered by many students as one of the most difficult subjects in the course and something they have great difficulties coming to grips with, as many of us experience on a day- to-day basis. This problem is becoming more and more apparent with the ever-changing focus of high schools. The challenge for Mechanics lecturers is to overcome those shortcomings and to keep students motivated and interested in Mechanics.
This paper reports on the introduction of a laboratory exercise in the second year of our BSc curriculum at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands aimed at improving the understanding of the mechanical behavior of structures as well as increasing the student’s motivation.
Mechanics education in the BSc Aerospace Engineering At the faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands students have to complete a basic mechanics course of 11 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System, 1 ECTS = 28h, 60 ECTS in a year) in their first year. The course consisting of a Statics (4 ECTS), Mechanics of Materials (4 ECTS) and a Dynamics part (3 ECTS) is based on the well- known books by Meriam & Kraig1,2 and Gere3.
In the second year the mechanics courses are more applied to the subject of aerospace engineering and we continue the Mechanics of Materials education in the course aircraft structural analysis, a 3 ECTS course, based on the book Aircraft Structural Analysis for engineering students by Megson4. This course is perceived by our students as a difficult course and traditionally has a low pass-rate. In order to try and improve the understanding of aircraft structural analysis and to improve the pass rate a laboratory exercise was set-up allowing students to get a better feel for the subject matter.
Objectives and set-up of the exercise The objectives of the exercise are:
Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition. Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education
De Vries, J., & Saunders-Smits, G. (2005, June), Learning By Doing: An Innovative Laboratory Exercise To Enhance The Understanding Of Thin Walled Mechanics Of Materials Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15203
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