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Using A "Hands On" Engineering Technology Approach To Conducting Statics And Dynamics Lab Courses

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Applications in Mechanical ET

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1361.1 - 9.1361.10

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Paper Authors

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Francis Di Bella

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

Session 2004-124 ASEE ANNUAL MEETING Salt Lake City, Utah June, 2004

The Trebuchet Project: Launching a “Hands-On” Engineering Technology Approach To Conducting Hands-On Statics and Dynamics Laboratory Courses

Francis A. Di Bella, PE Assistant Professor Northeastern University, Boston, MA Mechanical Engineering Technology

ABSTRACT “…Hands-On, real word engineering experience” is the refrain that is justifiably used to identify the objectives of an Engineering Technology education. The pedagogy that is in place in engineering technology curriculums strives to satisfy this goal. Northeastern University’s recent change to a semester system has also provided an opportunity to restructure most of its Engineering Technology programs. Specifically, every core engineering technology course now has an associated laboratory component. The lab session is scheduled within the classroom instruction period, with the full-time faculty conducting the experiments along with the students. In the case of the Statics and Dynamics courses an additional change has been implemented: the students will design and build their own statics and dynamics experiments using individual “loose” components. The experiments that can be replicated can be copied directly from the end- of-chapter problems found in the Statics and Dynamics textbooks. The intent is to employ and emphasize the “hands-on” criteria of the engineering technology program in a new and more relevant way. This paper describes the efforts and the various experiments that are being implemented.

Introduction Northeastern University converted to a semester system in the fall of 2003. This conversion necessitated a review of the course content of all of the courses throughout the University and was found to be an ideal opportunity to update and improve those courses in many ways. One such decision was to have all core Engineering Technology courses have a laboratory constituent as part of the class-room work. Where previously the class room instruction in Thermodynamics, for example, was followed by another course identified as Thermo Lab now the Thermodynamics course contains a set of experiments and/or energy facility tours that require Lab Reports or mini-engineering energy studies of the energy facilities to be prepared.

The presence of a lab in most engineering technology courses is often looked upon by the student as a considerable investment in time in the lab as well as at home, doing the write-up Report for the lab. While the proportion of time spent in actual doing and writing is often not in proportion with the QPA points awarded, the lab experience is

Proceedings of the 2004 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition ©2004 Copy Right, American Society of Engineering Education

Di Bella, F. (2004, June), Using A "Hands On" Engineering Technology Approach To Conducting Statics And Dynamics Lab Courses Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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