June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.1230.1 - 10.1230.3
A More Effective Sequence for Teaching Statics to Civil Engineering Students by
Subhash C. Anand Professor of Civil Engineering Clemson University Clemson, SC 29631 Introduction
Engineering Mechanics - Statics is a core course in most of the engineering disciplines, and is generally taught by a civil and/or a mechanical engineering faculty at the nations ABET accredited colleges and universities. The quality of the texts available in the market for teaching this course has drastically improved during the past ten to fifteen years. This is due to the fact of including real life problems as examples and homework problems in the text, as well as the utilization of colored drawings and pictures. Additionally, most of the texts also provide study examples through the electronic media in the form of CD ROM.
In spite of all the improvements that the authors have incorporated in the texts, the subject of Statics remains a difficult one for students. This assessment is based on the experiences of the author of this paper who has taught this course many times during the past more than thirty years. In particular, the students who are majoring in civil engineering have found this course quite difficult due to their not being quite familiar with the mathematical requirements that are necessary in handling the three dimensional parts of this course. The authors of the most generally available Statics texts, on the other hand, have maintained a sequence for the contents of the subject matter in their books that should be covered in Statics a course, as is given in the next section. Although logical from various aspects, this sequence does not appear to be very effective, especially for most of the civil engineering students as is explained later.
The Generally Prevalent Sequence in a 3-Hour Statics Course
The generally adopted sequence in a 3-hour Statics course given in Vector Mechanics for Engineers by Beer, Johnson, and Eisenberg is as follows:
• Introduction • Statics of Particles o Forces in a Plane o Forces in Space o Rigid Bodies: Equivalent System of Forces o Equilibrium of Rigid Bodies Equilibrium in Two Dimensions Equilibrium in Three Dimensions o Distributed Forces: Centroids and Centers of Gravity Areas and Lines Volumes
Anand, S. (2005, June), Teaching Statics To Civil Engineering Students Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. https://peer.asee.org/14756
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