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Robots! Freshman Clinic In Mechanical Engineering

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.990.1 - 7.990.6



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Paper Authors

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Hong Zhang

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Jennifer Kadlowec

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

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Session 1898

ROBOTS! – Freshman Clinic in Mechanical Engineering

Hong Zhang Jennifer Kadlowec

College of Engineering, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ 08028 zhang,

1. Introduction The integration of both hands-on experience and minds-on thinking in engineering education is the hallmark of Rowan Engineering. The Engineering Clinic 1,2 sequence was developed to promote project-based learning. As a unique component of the Rowan engineering curriculum, engineering clinic is a framework that includes the topics from introduction of engineering at different levels to junior/senior design projects usually seen in a normal engineering program. The details of the clinics will vary for different disciplines and different academic years, but all of them will be based on hands-on education. Modeled under medical clinic rotation, every Rowan engineering student needs to attend one clinic project each semester throughout his/her four-year undergraduate study. The topics of the clinics can vary broadly. In the first year, through simple hands-on projects such as reverse-engineering a hand-powered radio, brewing beer 3, or building a small Soccerbot, the freshmen will understand each field of engineering better and develop stronger interest in engineering overall. In sophomore clinic, students will be asked to work in multidisciplinary groups and build a pre -designed system such as a yeast-based fuel-cell-powered Lego robot. For juniors and seniors, because they already have the basic theoretical background, they will be teamed for real life engineering projects. These projects can be either based on the research conducted by faculty members or obtained from industrial sponsors. Under the direction of a principal manager (a faculty member), each team needs to finish the project within certain timeline, generally a semester or a year. In this paper, we will illustrate how we took advantage of robot to introduce Mechanical Engineering to the freshmen with the form of engineering clinic. After this introduction, the second section of this paper begins provides an detailed explanation of the idea and management of freshman clinic. In the third section, we will provide more detail of using robot as a tool to introduce Mechanical Engineering. In the fourth and last section, we will highlight some impacts and benefits of the project.

2. Freshman Clinic

Generally speaking, the freshman clinic corresponds to the Introduction to Engineering in many other universities, though in a unique format. It consists of two parts. The first one is the teaching of basic engineering skills and ethics that will be essential to students’ success or even survival in engineering school and their future

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Zhang, H., & Kadlowec, J. (2002, June), Robots! Freshman Clinic In Mechanical Engineering Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10587

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