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Learning Outcomes of using Real-Life (or Everyday) Examples in Mechanics Stream of Courses

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1075.1 - 26.1075.12



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Paper Authors


Raghu Echempati P.E. Kettering University

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Professor Echempati is a professor of Mechanical Engineering at Kettering University, (Flint, Mich.). He is a member of ASME, ASEE, and SAE. He has won several academic and technical awards.

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Learning Outcomes of using Real Life (or Everyday) Examples in Mechanics Stream of CoursesAbstractThe author received a mini-grant from E^3 (Everyday Examples in Engineering) Organizationthe purpose of which is to help instructors both to use the existing examples from theorganization and also to develop more examples of common interest to the students takingcourses in the math, science and engineering areas. Per the information provided on the URL ofthis organization (, there are three types ofEveryday Examples in Engineering (E3s). First are lesson plans and solutions, most of whichhave been prepared using the principle of the 5Es: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate andEvaluate. The second type are demonstrations, including directions for building and using thedemonstrations. The third type are lists of engineering ideas that could be used to illustrateengineering concepts. All of the Everyday Examples are organized by course area, which arelisted on their webpage. While developing the new examples, one of the main things is toinnovatively come up with ideas that every student has already seen or experienced in daily life.Based on this presumption, the students use the physics and engineering principles to formulateand to solve the problems posed in those examples using justifiable engineering assumptions.Out of the three types discussed above, the author along with the students in Solid Mechanicsand Finite Element Analysis courses has mostly used the first types (lesson plans and solutions)and some of third types (development of engineering ideas to illustrate engineering concepts).The author has used some of the available examples while teaching the junior level SolidMechanics course and the senior level Finite Element Analysis course, and asked the students tocome up with new ideas and examples. One of the examples was to study various bookshelfdesigns and perform bending analysis that yields smallest maximum deformation. The studentshave to figure out the weight distributions due to books and calculate the maximum deflection ofthe shelf made from different materials and different cross sections. This way they know why acertain cross section and material are used for carrying heavy books in libraries. They can alsocome up with new designs for improving the aesthetics and life of those (although we didn’t domuch in this direction). Another example is to study Van Phillips’s prosthetic leg and analyze itas a curved beam. This was also modeled in NX9.0 to compare the results.In this paper the author will enumerate different examples and present the assessment andlearning outcomes of using real life examples in the classes.

Echempati, R. (2015, June), Learning Outcomes of using Real-Life (or Everyday) Examples in Mechanics Stream of Courses Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24412

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