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Revving Up Hands On Engineering

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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

Topics in Mechanical ET

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1073.1 - 9.1073.7



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Paper Authors

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Michael Lobaugh

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

Session 2547

Revving up interest in Hands-On Engineering

Michael Lobaugh

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College

Introduction: This paper provides an overview of the past, present, and future changes to a laboratory- based course providing hands-on experience in manufacturing. At the 2002 conference for the ASEE, Mukasa E. Ssemakula presented a paper (session 3649)1, describing successes for a course that helped students gain hands-on experience in a Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) program. Using this presentation as a springboard, a pilot program at Penn State Erie, the Behrend College, was developed which incorporated those methods and enhanced them. Sophomore students in the (MET) program at Penn State Erie are required to take a hands-on lab, titled Production Design, intended to introduce the students to typical industrial processes. These processes include metal cutting (turning and milling), CNC machining, sheet metalworking, welding processes, and metal casting (aluminum). The lab meets twice each week for 3 hours per meeting over a 15-week semester. The total number of 30 lab meetings and a total lab time of approximately 90 hours is sufficient to complete the required tasks.

Past practice: In previous years the entire lab was focused on a non-engineering approach to the processes. The lab was taught more as an operational or technical approach on the various processes, whereas the students were introduced to the various processes and taught the physical operations of each. This approach was used to familiarize the students with each processes advantages and disadvantages in the typical industrial manufacturing environment. For safety reasons the class size was restricted to 12 students, divided into 4 groups of 3 students each. There were a total of five modules within the course: Metal cutting (Milling & Lathe), CNC machining, Sheet Metalworking, Welding (& Joining), and Metal Casting (Foundry). Each group of 3 students was assigned to a different module to start with and they would work on the module for 3 weeks (6 lab periods) prior to proceeding onto the next module. The first lab session was reserved for the course overview and information of the safety issues within the lab environment.

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

Lobaugh, M. (2004, June), Revving Up Hands On Engineering Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--14121

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