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Project Oriented Course In Mechatronics

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

TIME 1: Controls

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1024.1 - 9.1024.8



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Paper Authors

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Scott Kiefer

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

Session #2004-556

Project Oriented Course in Mechatronics Scott Kiefer Tri-State University

Abstract This paper describes a multi-disciplinary, hands-on, project oriented course in mechatronics. The course relied almost entirely on active learning techniques using student project work, and included the development of oral and written communication skills. Student and faculty assessment of the learning objectives of this course are included in the paper.

Although open to all engineering and technology students, the mechatronics course was composed of two groups: undergraduate mechanical engineering students and graduate level technology students. The students were divided into groups of two or three and given a new project to complete for each of the first ten weeks of the course. At the completion of each project, the students were required to prepare a ten-minute PowerPoint presentation describing their project. The projects included material such as building an analog to digital converter, using a transistor H-bridge for motor control, construction of digital logic circuits, the use of proximity sensors, and the creation of music using a microprocessor. The final six weeks of the semester were used for the students to complete a design project of their choosing. They were required to submit a written project proposal, complete with deliverables and a timeline, before beginning the project. At the completion of their final projects, the students were required to prepare an oral presentation of their project and present it to a group of other students and faculty.

Introduction This course in mechatronics has been offered twice, once at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez (UPRM) and once at Tri-State University in Angola, Indiana. Both times it was offered as an elective course open to all engineering undergraduates, and at Tri-State it was also offered to masters level students in the technology program. The class at UPRM consisted of eleven mechanical engineering students, and the class at Tri-State consisted of eight mechanical engineering students and two masters level technology students.

The course was divided into two parts. The first ten weeks of the course covered introductory material and included weekly, hands-on projects in mechatronics. The last six weeks of the course involved a design project where the students applied what they had learned to design and build a working mechatronic device.

Active Leaning and Oral Presentations What makes this class unique is the complete immersion in active learning and the use of frequent oral presentations. The first ten weeks of the course involved the students working in groups of two or three to complete basic projects in mechatronics. Each week the students were

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Kiefer, S. (2004, June), Project Oriented Course In Mechatronics Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13838

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