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The Appropriate Approach To Statics And Dynamics In Engineering Technology

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Systems Approach to Teaching ET

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1258.1 - 10.1258.9



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Paper Authors

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David Myszka

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

The Appropriate Approach for Statics and Dynamics in Engineering Technology

David Myszka Mechanical Engineering Technology University of Dayton


Engineering mechanics, specifically statics and dynamics, is a critical foundation for advanced topics in several technical disciplines. On the surface, the common, application oriented focus of engineering technology would suggest a common approach to these fundamental topics. However, there is a large variation in the curricular format and pedagogy used to introduce mechanics among engineering technology programs across the country.

A study was conducted to identify the different approaches used in mechanics courses in different engineering technology programs. Additionally, a study that distinguishe s the factors of success in the engineering mechanics courses at the University of Dayton will be reviewed. Using these studies, recommendations for an ideal approach will be suggested.


Statics and Dynamics is the first course, or courses, in a series commonly referred to as engineering mechanics. It is a fundamental prerequisite for subsequent courses such as strength of materials and kinematics. Further, performance in these latter courses can be directly correlated to success in Statics.4

Since understanding Statics and Dynamics is crucial to the future work of technical professionals, Concept Inventory projects have been sponsored by the National Science Foundation5, 10, 11 . These studies identify the concepts and skills essential for understanding and application of engineering mechanics.

Also, in the past few years, many innovative pedagogical techniques for guiding students through engineering mechanics have been documented6, 7, 15, 16. The primary focus of these studies has been with engineering programs. Yet, a common assumption is that these techniques can also be implemented in engineering technology programs. While this is true for many methods, some important differences exist.

The traditional method of teaching Statics and Dynamics to engineering technology students is without using vector notation. A popular belief is that students are better able to apply the concepts of mechanics without the elaborate mathematics procedures required for vector notation. In fact, many instructors feel that the mathematical sophistication detracts from understanding the core concepts.

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Myszka, D. (2005, June), The Appropriate Approach To Statics And Dynamics In Engineering Technology Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15538

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