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Strength of Materials Through Economical Activities

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Simulations and Project Based Learning I

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1107.1 - 24.1107.13



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Paper Authors


Nancy L. Denton PE, CVA3 Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Nancy L. Denton, PE, CVA3, is a professor in Purdue University's School of Engineering Technology, where she serves as associate head for MET. She serves on the Vibration Institute’s Board of Directors, chairing the Academic Committee and serving on the Certification Scheme Committee. She is a Fellow of ASEE and a member of ASME.

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Strength of Materials Through Economical ActivitiesStrength of materials course content challenges students at many levels. Understanding requiresretention of core knowledge from multiple previous courses, quick acquisition of new conceptsand vocabulary, and synthesis of old and new content to address relatively practical, oftenrealistic problems. Several simple, low-cost activities were developed to promote mechanicsconcept comprehension, and link these concepts to practical applications and prior knowledge.Through activities incorporating various types of loading such as axial forces, direct shear forcesand torque, students are encouraged to think through fundamental stresses, deformations, andtheir relationship to product design of common items.The low-cost strength of materials activities to be described in this paper were implemented in alaboratory setting with mechanical engineering technology students in a sophomore-level course.The activities could be conducted by groups of students in a recitation or studio setting, oradapted to be a combination of demonstration and student group work in a larger lecture settingor flipped classroom. Activity success at improving understanding and application of strength ofmaterials topics, engaging students, and incorporating design thinking is being assessed throughstudent surveys and activity tests. Evaluation of assessment data and corresponding improvementefforts will be reported.

Denton, N. L. (2014, June), Strength of Materials Through Economical Activities Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23040

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