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Outreach Activities in Teaching Engineering Design

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Engineering Design

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1018.1 - 25.1018.9



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Paper Authors


Arif Sirinterlikci Robert Morris University Orcid 16x16

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Arif Sirinterlikci is a professor of engineering at Robert Morris University School of Engineering, Mathematics, and Science. He also serves as a Director of Engineering Laboratories as well as Co-head of the Research and Outreach Center. He has been an active member of ASEE and SME, serving as an officer of both societies and engaged in engineering education and K-12 outreach.

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John M. Mativo University of Georgia

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John Mativo is Assistant Professor at the University of Georgia, Workforce Education/Faculty of Engineering.

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Outreach Activities in Teaching Engineering DesignAbstractThis paper presents various outreach activities in teaching engineering design to elementary,middle, and high school students. Although different methods were utilized, the results indicate acommon scenario of active learning experiences. Two universities involved were the Universityof Georgia and Robert Morris University, located suburban Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.One end of the outreach spectrum was a yearlong program to Hillsman Middle School inGeorgia and focused on structural design. The outcome enabled the students to realize that lightengineering structures can carry large loads. Once a month during the school year, authorsvisited the middle school to interact with the students and demonstrated structural designcapacity concepts. Together with the students, they explored and listed materials needed toconstruct structures, typical loading conditions, types of structural shapes, and studentexpectations on how the materials and structures in question will behave under certain loadingconditions. In the end, the students were asked to use index cards to build a column structurethat would support the largest load. A slow rate loading was applied by placing books on to thecolumns. Results were compared to the students’ expectations. The students and their teacherswere involved in the activities as they termed them very interesting and captivating. Thestudents made a breakthrough in relating mathematics with their predictions, analyzed differentshape factors and materials while they communicated amongst themselves and with theirteachers.At the other end of the outreach spectrum, middle and high school students participating inRobert Morris University summer camps near Pittsburgh were exposed to engineering designand analysis subjects through a hands-on work-shop. At first, students were given a crash courseon solid modeling with the SolidWorks software. After designing simple parts in the solidmodeler, they were given a crane hook model with multiple boundary surfaces. The studentswere asked to analyze the hook’s performance based on given boundary conditions includingfixtures and loading. By using SolidWorks SimulationXpress, they assigned the appropriate hookmaterial, applied restraints to hold the hook at a point in 3D space as well as loading to representthe maximum loading conditions. The hook model was meshed with different size elements andthe structural simulation was run by the students. After obtaining the results, they studied stress,strain, safety factor contours and displacement plots in order to decide if the hook was going towithstand the maximum loading and discussed how to improve the hook’s performance.The paper will conclude with the importance of the hands-on design outreach activities byengineering programs, relating to pipeline development in recruitment. In addition to the casestudies covered, competitions will be explored as a means to introduce engineering design for K-12 students.

Sirinterlikci, A., & Mativo, J. M. (2012, June), Outreach Activities in Teaching Engineering Design Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21775

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