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Using Computer Aided Design To Teach Technology To Both College And High School Students: Bridging The Age Gap With Technology

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Promoting ET with K-12 Projects

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1251.1 - 7.1251.8



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Paper Authors

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David Cottrell

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Session 3447

Using Computer Aided Design to Teach Engineering to Both College and High School Students: Bridging the Age Gap with Technology

David S. Cottrell Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg

I. Introduction

This paper describes the use of a computer-aided design (CAD) software package originally developed as a vehicle for outreach to high school students but proven equally viable for teaching technology to college students. This application research reports the results of a program that concurrently enlisted science and math students at a secondary school in central Pennsylvania as well as the students in an introductory course in graphic communications at Penn State University. Both groups of students employed a CAD program designed to accomplish the following:

· Stimulate interest in engineering and design. · Provide the user with an opportunity to perform a legitimate structural design, based on a realistic set of design specifications and constraints. · Provide participants with an opportunity to use the computer as a problem-solving tool.

Both high school and college students pursued essentially the same objective: create and optimize bridge designs in seven categories featuring a variety of bridge spans and configurations. This paper provides an overview of both groups including the methodology for enlisting the participation of the students in the program – first, in the high school and then at Penn State. Further a comparative analysis Figure 1. Student Rendering of the Howe Truss is presented of the design Bridge from the West Point Bridge Designer. results by both groups of students.

“Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

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Cottrell, D. (2002, June), Using Computer Aided Design To Teach Technology To Both College And High School Students: Bridging The Age Gap With Technology Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10768

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