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Using A Fun Six Sigma Project to Teach Quality Concepts, Tools, and Techniques

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Curriculum and the Classroom

Tagged Division

Engineering Management

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Paper Authors


Mustafa Shraim Ohio University

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Dr. Mustafa Shraim is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Technology & Management at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. He received both of his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Ohio University, and a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from West Virginia University. He has over 20 years of industrial experience as a quality engineer, manager, and consultant in quality management systems, statistical methods, and Lean/ Six Sigma. In addition, he coaches and mentors Green & Black Belts on process improvement projects in both manufacturing and service. He is a Certified Quality Engineer (CQE) & a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB) by ASQ, and a certified QMS Principal Auditor by IRCA in London. He was elected a Fellow by ASQ in 2007.

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Research has shown that students learn better if they are engaged in, and motivated to struggle with, their own learning. For this reason, if no other, students appear to learn better if they work cooperatively in small groups to solve problems. Furthermore, learning quality engineering concepts, such as variation, using traditional methods can be challenging for many college students with no prior background. It makes it even more challenging when methods such as statistical process control, process capability analysis, and design of experiments are involved. This paper will present a Six Sigma project utilizing a catapult as a process with multiple controllable factors as input variables and the distance where a ball lands as the output (dependent variable). The aim was to optimize settings of the independent variables to minimize variation and attain a target distance. The Six Sigma improvement model: Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control (DMAIC) was followed where each member of the team assumed the role of a project leader for at least one of the DMAIC phases. In addition to utilizing some quality tools manually, students also utilized a statistical software to analyze experimental data. Results and feedback will show that in addition to using the tools and achieving the goals set in the project charter, students learned that working as a team is an enjoyable experience as well. Moreover, and while traditional teaching methods may focus on presenting one tool or technique at a time, using this Six Sigma project showed students how the tools and concepts can work together and in what order.

Shraim, M. (2018, June), Using A Fun Six Sigma Project to Teach Quality Concepts, Tools, and Techniques Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31194

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