June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.1215.1 - 14.1215.36
The Engineering of Everyday Things: Simple Experiments for the Thermal and Fluid Sciences
Abstract A series of demonstrations and laboratory exercises have been developed to teach fundamental concepts in the thermal and fluid sciences of the undergraduate engineering curriculum. This material is part of an educational research project called the Engineering of Everyday Things. The title reflects the use of common technology like hair dryers, blenders, toasters and bicycle pumps, which are used to demonstrate principles of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer. The project also uses simple laboratory devices such as pipes with sudden expansions and open tanks of water. This paper provides an overview of the EET project and shows how this material can be used as in-class demonstration or as in guided-inquiry laboratory exercises. Representative results of formative assessment for the in-class demonstrations, learning gain, and attitude change for the guided-inquiry exercises are given.
Introduction The Engineering of Everyday Things (EET) project introduces simple exercises for laboratory classes or for use as in-class demonstration, or as supplemental instruction outside of the class. The EET exercises use simple hardware that is either based on consumer items like a hair dryer or a blender, or simple equipment like an open tank of water or a duct with a change in area. The use of consumer items is designed to engage students by demonstrating the relevance of their coursework to their everyday lives. Because the equipment is simple or familiar to students, we believe they are more likely to reveal their misconceptions about the core concepts necessary for the equipment to function. The EET laboratory exercises use a guided inquiry approach to challenge student misconceptions, and to promote deeper understanding through qualitative reasoning.
This paper gives an overview of the project and presents some research highlights on student learning gains and attitude change. Details of specific exercises are presented in companion papers. Our goal is to develop interest in this approach to instruction and to show faculty how they can easily incorporate these ideas into their lecture-based and laboratory-based classes.
Overview of Laboratory Equipment and Exercises The laboratory exercises share some common ideas. First, the experimental hardware is simple, and where possible uses everyday technology such a blender, a hair dryer, or a toaster. A series of fluid mechanics experiments use simple hardware to explore the hydrostatic equation, transient mass conservation and jet momentum, the Bernoulli equation, and the Energy Equation.
Recktenwald, G., & Edwards, R., & Howe, D., & Faulkner, J., & Hsieh, C. (2009, June), The Engineering Of Everyday Things: Simple Experiments In The Thermal And Fluid Sciences Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/4936
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