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Project Based Teaching: A Case Study From A Hydraulics Class

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Conference

2001 Annual Conference

Location

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001

ISSN

2153-5965

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

6.813.1 - 6.813.10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/9685

Download Count

245

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Paper Authors

author page

Philip McCreanor

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

Session - Multimedia

Project Based Teaching: A Case Study from a Hydraulics Class Philip T. McCreanor,

Mercer University School of Engineering

Abstract

Hydraulics is currently taught as one-half of a 3-credit course in the Environmental Engineering Program at the Mercer University School of Engineering. The topics covered include fluid properties, fluid pressure, forces on submerged surfaces, fluid flow in pipes, pipelines, pipe networks, and pump design and selection. The first semester this course was taught the material was presented topic by topic. This created a very choppy course structure and the impression that hydraulics was a collection of individual topics, many of which had little relevance to each other.

A project-based teaching format was adopted to create a more cohesive course structure, help the course move more fluidly from topic to topic, and demonstrate to the students the application of the material they were learning. The project required the students to design a dam to create a reservoir in a theoretical gorge, pipe and pumps to convey water from the reservoir to a downstream community, and a pipe network to distribute the water within the community. This project was distributed to students on the first day of class and was used to drive the sequence of the course lectures. In addition to keeping the students focused on why they were learning a topic, the project based teaching format also produced a just in time teaching format.

This paper will present the project used to teach the hydraulics class, a qualitative analysis of how the use of project-based teaching affected this class, and modifications planned for the next offering of the course. Suggestions for the design of projects will also be presented.

1.0 Introduction

Hydraulics is currently taught as one-half of a 3-credit course in the Environmental Engineering Program at the Mercer University School of Engineering. The topics covered include fluid properties, fluid pressure, forces on submerged surfaces, fluid flow in pipes, pipelines, pipe networks, and pump design and selection. The first semester this course was taught the material was presented topic by topic. This created a very choppy course structure and created the impression that hydraulics was a collection of individual topics, many of which had little

Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

McCreanor, P. (2001, June), Project Based Teaching: A Case Study From A Hydraulics Class Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. https://peer.asee.org/9685

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