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Teaching STEM Early-college Students: A New Methodology to Teach Energy Complex Systems

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Energy Conversion and Conservation Division Technical Session 3: Education Track

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Energy Conversion and Conservation

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Paper Authors


Ahmed Cherif Megri North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

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Dr. Ahmed C. Megri is an Associate Professor of engineering. He received his HDR (Dr. Habilitation) in
Engineering Sciences, from Marie and Pierre Curie University, Paris VI (Sorbonne Universities), in 2011, and his Ph.D. in Thermal Engineering, from Lyon Institute of Technology in 1995. He wrote more than 100 papers in the journal and international conferences. His research interests include thermal and mechanical
modeling and simulation of materials. He participates in multiple projects, including the Development of
a Model for The Metal Laser Powder Bed Fusion Additive Manufacturing Process. Dr. Ahmed Cherif
Megri is currently the chair of the NCAT CAM’s Education subcommittee. He contributed to the outreach CAM since 2015.

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Sameer Hamoush North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

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Professor and Chair of Civil and Architectural Engineering Department

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Taher M. Abu-Lebdeh P.E. North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Abu-Lebdeh is a Professor of Civil Engineering, Chair of R&D for the NNSA/ MSIPP Consortium, and an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences. His research interests include Structural Mechanics, Materials Characterization, and constitutive modeling of material behavior. Dr. Abu-Lebdeh successfully completed several research projects related to powder production for additive manufacturing, and characterization of metal powders for spreadability and flow modeling. Dr. Abu-Lebdeh has published over 70 papers and 25 peer-reviewed proceeding papers related to structures, structural mechanics, and powder characterization for AM. He holds a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering/Structural Mechanics from Louisiana State University.

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STEM early colleges are typically designed to give interested students the opportunity to learn more science, technology, and engineering-related topics. These students may have the opportunity to work with university faculties on their projects in the framework of a mentorship program between University and early college. The objective of this program is to guide the students on a specific topic related to engineering, such as energy, in order to enhance their understanding of math and science. I was approached to be a mentor for these early college students to guide them through a project related to power plants. In this article, our aim is to share my experience developing a methodology for early-college students, that addresses particular educational challenges, using visualization-based methods and interviews with knowledgeable personal and experts in the area, to give the students the opportunity to understand the ins and outs of a specific application, without too much math and theory. Once the student has reached a certain level of confidence in their knowledge, we move on to other stages where more theoretical concepts are introduced. Our methodology is based on three tasks: (1) field visits; (2) literature; (3) computer applications; (4) mathematics and science. Power plants are installations where steam is produced by boilers to be used for heating/cooling and hot water. These industrial facilities are connected to the electricity grid, as well as to natural gas utilities. They have other operations, such as water treatment and energy management. Usually, they are supervised 24/7, and security is at the top of the considerations. In this article, I will expand on my experience with mentoring STEM early college students to achieve a higher level of understanding of power plants. The aim is to contribute to the preparation of a STEM pipeline in the field of engineering and advanced manufacturing. The pipeline for research and higher education begins specifically at an early age, where students are encouraged to peruse STEM-related programs. Our programs are mainly oriented toward high school, and early college students and continue through the completion of a college degree in STEM areas. In this paper, we discuss the project design program from a student's perspective and experience gained in engineering, integration, written, and oral communication. The methodology used to improve the students’ understanding of complex problems is also described.

Megri, A. C., & Hamoush, S., & Abu-Lebdeh, T. M. (2021, July), Teaching STEM Early-college Students: A New Methodology to Teach Energy Complex Systems Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37822

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