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Statics Modeling Kit: Hands-On Learning in the Flipped Classroom

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Enhancing the Statics Classroom

Tagged Division

Mechanics

Page Count

21

DOI

10.18260/1-2--30983

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30983

Download Count

360

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Paper Authors

biography

Eric Davishahl Whatcom Community College Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-9506-2658

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Eric Davishahl is faculty and engineering program coordinator at Whatcom Community College. His teaching and research interests include developing, implementing and assessing active learning instructional strategies and auto-graded online homework. Eric has been a member of ASEE since 2001. He currently serves as chair of the Pacific Northwest Section and was the recipient of the 2008 Section Outstanding Teaching Award.

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biography

Russell Pearce Whatcom Community College

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Russell Pearce has worked at Whatcom Community College since 2012, giving lab support to physics, engineering, and geology, as well as teaching the occasional physics class. Russell's interests include creating hands on learning tools that encourage active engagement for Physics and Engineering students, and developing classroom demonstrations that confront student misconceptions and create classroom conversation.

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Todd R. Haskell Western Washington University

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Todd Haskell is a cognitive scientist interested in learning and the development of expertise, especially in STEM fields. He is currently Associate Professor of Psychology at Western Washington University. In previous projects Dr. Haskell has worked on understanding how chemistry novices and experts navigate between macroscopic, symbolic, and small particle representations, and how pre-service elementary teachers translate an understanding of energy concepts from physics to other disciplines.

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Kordel J. Clarks Student Representative - Whatcom Community College

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Kordel Clarks is an Engineering Student who plans to graduate from Whatcom Community College in June of 2018 and plans to transfer to the University of Washington. He is pursuing a degree in aeronautical engineering. He is also a recipient of WCC’s SEECRS (STEM Excellence through Engagement in Collaboration, Research and Scholarship) program and a member of Washington's All-Academic Team.

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Abstract

The Statics Modeling Kit is a low cost and flexible modeling system designed to support active learning in engineering statics. The kit consists of a physical model representative of a three-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system constructed from plastic pegboard panels along with a collection of components that students use to build, manipulate and analyze models of textbook-style homework problems. Student groups use the kit to explore statics concepts through a series of exercises that connect typical mechanics analysis tasks such as sketching free-body diagrams, mathematical manipulations in vector notation, and numeric computations to physical representations that students can explore to develop their conceptual knowledge. The pedagogy underlying these activities applies the theory of representational competence to provide learning experiences that target conceptual understanding within a problem-solving context. The design of the kit renders most dimensions and select force types readily apparent by inspection, allowing students to focus their time and mental effort on interpretation, application of relevant statics concepts, and analysis. Modeling activities in this flipped classroom implementation support the majority of statics topics including vector operations, concurrent force systems, moments, equivalent systems, support models, rigid-body equilibrium, and friction, all with an emphasis on three-dimensional geometries.

Student feedback on the modeling exercises indicates that the models and associated curriculum provide an engaging context for group discussion and problem solving. Students report their experience with the physical models as supportive of skill development in visualizing vectors, understanding vector notation, and interpreting three-dimensional geometry information communicated by traditional textbook-style problem figures. Many students cite the modeling activities as key to developing their understanding of fundamental statics concepts such as free-body diagrams, moments and support models. Small increases in class time allocation and completion incentives over two successive terms that further leveraged the modeling curriculum as part of the overall course design resulted in significant increases in student survey responses regarding the effectiveness of the activities. Classroom sessions that feature the modeling kit feature lively discussion within student groups and provide numerous teachable moments for the instructor to use a model to demonstrate and explain a key concept or nuance to small groups of students.

Davishahl, E., & Pearce, R., & Haskell, T. R., & Clarks, K. J. (2018, June), Statics Modeling Kit: Hands-On Learning in the Flipped Classroom Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30983

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2018 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015