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Using Hollywood Movies As A Supplementary Tool To Teach Manufacturing Processes

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Manufacturing Processes

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1388.1 - 11.1388.9



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Paper Authors


Z.J. Pei Kansas State University

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Dr. Z.J. Pei received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is currently an associate professor in the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering at Kansas State University. He holds three U.S. patents and has published 40 journal papers and over 60 papers at international conferences. His current research activities include analysis and modeling of silicon wafering processes and traditional and nontraditional machining processes.

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

Using Hollywood Movies as a Supplementary Tool to Teach Manufacturing Processes


Introductory courses on manufacturing processes are difficult to teach and it is challenging to deliver the information in an interesting or entertaining way. As one of the attempts to promote students’ learning, Hollywood movies have been used as a supplementary tool to teach such a course at Kansas State University. This paper presents the experience of such attempt. Examples of using Hollywood movies are presented and discussed. Students’ feedback and comments are also provided.

1. Introduction

At Kansas State University, “Introduction to Manufacturing Processes and Systems” (IMSE 250) is a required course for students majoring in industrial engineering, manufacturing systems engineering, and mechanical engineering. Many students in other engineering disciplines and humanities and sciences also take it as an elective course. It is intended to not only provide engineering students with technical knowledge for further study in their disciplines, but also expose humanities and social sciences students to manufacturing engineering.

This course is difficult to teach due to several reasons. The first reason is the diverse background of the students. The students taking this course range from freshman, sophomore, junior and senior year. They came from quite different disciplines. As a student said in a mid-term feedback survey, “One thing I would like to suggest is that all of the students here are not studying engineering. So don’t assume we are all the same.” Table 1 shows the disciplines from which the recent semesters’ students came from.

Students are also quite different in their prior knowledge of manufacturing. In a mid-term feedback survey, one student wrote “You may have presented the material too easily to us. We (students) generally need a little more in depth.” In the same feedback survey, other students requested that “Don’t move quite so fast.” Some students have years of working experience in manufacturing environment, while some have never been on any manufacturing floor. There is a lab course, “Manufacturing processes laboratory” (IMSE 251), associated with this course, but not all the students take it. Fig. 1 shows the responses from students to a survey question in the middle of the 2004 Spring semester, “To help you learn better, the pace of the course should be made ______.” It can be seen that there are students at both extremes. It is quite a challenge to keep the students at one extreme engaged without losing the students at the other extreme.


Pei, Z. (2006, June), Using Hollywood Movies As A Supplementary Tool To Teach Manufacturing Processes Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1434

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