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Team-Based Design-and-Build Projects in a Large Freshman Mechanical Engineering Class

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Design in Engineering Education (DEED) Engineering Poster Session

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1157.1 - 23.1157.11



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Paper Authors

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Mario W. Gomes Rochester Institute of Technology (COE)


Elizabeth A. DeBartolo Rochester Institute of Technology (COE)

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Dr. Elizabeth A. DeBartolo is an associate professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She works with students on the design of assistive devices and rehabilitation aids, and characterizing the mechanical behavior of materials. Dr. DeBartolo serves on her college’s leadership teams for both multi-disciplinary capstone design and outreach program development.

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Team-Based Design-and-Build Projects in a Large Freshman Mechanical Engineering ClassAbstractIn 2013-14, [institution] will be undergoing a significant curriculum change. As part of this change, thefreshman Mechanical Engineering Experience is being redesigned to incorporate a comprehensivefreshman design experience. This paper describes the development of a design and build project that isbeing piloted during 2012-13, and will be launched full-scale during 2013-14.The project has been developed to satisfy a number of constraints: • Accommodate large class sizes: plan for nearly 300 students per year • Limited financial and personnel resources: $10/student and existing machine shop staff • Respect for departmental history: freshmen must still make the traditional machinist’s hammer that has been part of our curriculum for decades • Allow students to be creative in a meaningful way • Pose the problem in such a way that there is not one obvious solution • Require collaborative effort within teams (and between teams, if possible) • Require analysis appropriate for students who have completed high school physics and pre- calculusThe project identified for this course is to charge students with designing a mechanical musicalinstrument that will play a song on metallic chimes. This project satisfies all the required constraints, andeven allows students to incorporate the historical freshman hammer into their apparatus to strike thechimes. This paper will discuss how the constraints have been addressed in the design of the project, andhow the project will be integrated into a course that will cover design process, in addition to basic skills inCAD, machine shop operations, and teamwork.

Gomes, M. W., & DeBartolo, E. A. (2013, June), Team-Based Design-and-Build Projects in a Large Freshman Mechanical Engineering Class Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22542

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