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On The Use Of Equation Solvers, Interactive Software, And Hands On Projects In Integrated Sophomore Engineering Courses

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Teaching Innovations in Architectural Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.894.1 - 8.894.15



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Paper Authors

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Mario Medina

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Louis Thurston

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

Session 1406

On the Use of Equation Solvers, Interactive Software, and Hands-on Projects in Integrated Sophomore Engineering Courses

Mario A. Medina Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering Department The University of Kansas


The long-term objective of this effort was to fundamentally change the quality of engineering instruction and student interactions-through the use of newest education technologies in the classroom. Three principal areas of student impact were identified. These were: (1) Improvement of the quality of engineering students, (2) Development of student social skills, and (3) Enhancement of student motivation to continue the learning experience. This paper recounts how equation solvers, interactive software, and hands-on projects were incorporated into sophomore level integrated courses and documents the observations, lessons learned, and conclusions from the experience. Student participants improved in understanding and applying fundamental principles, developed the ability to identify and define problems, knew how to evaluate alternative solutions, were better trained to communicate ideas, both orally and written, and were able to use technology for setting, solving, and presenting problems. In addition, the students enhanced their social skills by working in teams and by enhanced student/faculty interactions.


In 1994, the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK) joined six other engineering programs from Arizona State University, Texas A&M University, University of Alabama, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Texas Women’s University, and Maricopa Community College to form the National Science sponsored Foundation Coalition (FC). The coalition was one of eight NSF-supported engineering coalitions, which were the ECSEL, Synthesis, Gateway, SUCCEED, Greenfield, Academy, SCCEME, and the Foundation [1]. The main thrust of the FC was to implement curriculum reform in engineering education. The reforms were to be explored and implemented in four major areas, which were curriculum integration, technology enabled learning, human interface development, and assessment, evaluation, and dissemination.

To date, FC partner campuses have reorganized their curricula, modernized or built new classrooms, and created faculty development projects guided by the four major areas listed above and by utilizing student teams in engineering and by increasing the participation of women and underrepresented minorities in engineering. Most projects have focused on the foundational years of the engineering curricula. The FC has created means to assist campuses that are involved in improving their learning environments and curricula [2].

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Medina, M., & Thurston, L. (2003, June), On The Use Of Equation Solvers, Interactive Software, And Hands On Projects In Integrated Sophomore Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12454

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