June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.1084.1 - 12.1084.12
Multi-dimensional and Interactive Learning Model for Introduction to Mechanical Engineering
Many engineering curricula around the world traditionally include a course on introduction to engineering at the freshmen level. In most engineering schools such a course covers a general introduction to all engineering disciplines.
This year for the first time we admitted freshmen into our new mechanical engineering program at Washington State University Vancouver. Furthermore, mechanical engineering is the only engineering program on our campus. As a result, it was necessary to develop Mech 101 “Introduction to Mechanical Engineering” course. A multi-dimensional and interactive learning approach was taken in teaching this course. The method integrated the following components:
• Multi-instructor teaching; several faculty members held lectures and lab sessions to introduce sub-disciplines of mechanical engineering; including: thermal/fluid engineering, control, automation, and robotics, materials and manufacturing, computer-aided engineering, and machine design. • Engineering software skills; an introductory software called Working Model 2D, was taught and practiced in class in order to be used for solving real-world engineering problems, and to be used in individual or group design projects later in the semester. • Design project competition; a design project, entitled “Water-Powered Vehicle”, with a competition at the end was used as a motivation tool to instill critical thinking and creativeness. The twenty one enrolled students were divided into seven teams and each team was given a one-liter bottle of drinking water to use it as the only source of input energy to run the vehicle as far, fast, and straight as possible. Student teams first designed their prototypes using the Working Model software and later built and test them for the competition. • Engineering problem solving; about one-third of the course schedule was spent on solving real-world engineering problems in different sub-disciplines of mechanical engineering through case-studies; including: systems of units, unit conversions, forces in structures, stress and strain, fluidic systems, thermal systems, motion, power transmission, design of machines. • Soft-skills in engineering; each faculty member introduced ethical and contemporary issues related to their sub-discipline as part of their lectures. Furthermore, these subjects were discussed throughout the semester in lively class discussions. • Industry tours; in order to provide a real-world picture of mechanical engineering practice, industry tours were scheduled. Companies were selected to showcase a spectrum of activities from small-size device manufacturing to heavy equipment manufacturing, to demonstrate the broad field of mechanical engineering.
In this paper, first the course strategies and outline are described. Then, details of the course activities as well as other social and informative activities are presented. Finally, conclusions and the lessons learned are described.
Jokar, A., & Gurocak, H., & Kim, D., & Chen, X., & Rad, H. (2007, June), Multi Dimensional And Interactive Learning Model For Introduction To Mechanical Engineering Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1722
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