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You Can't Do A Thing If You Can't Build The Swing: Modeling And Reality In Mechanics Of Materials

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1323.1 - 8.1323.12



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Paper Authors

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Anna Phillips

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Paul Palazolo

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

Session 2793

You can't do a thing if you can't build the swing: Modeling and Reality in Mechanics of Materials

Paul Palazolo, Anna Phillips Civil Engineering Department - The University of Memphis

Abstract This paper presents the results from the integration of lab experiences and classroom materials in a junior level Mechanics of Materials class at the University of Memphis. Previously, the class content and laboratory content were disjointed and offered no sense of continuity between topics and potential applications. This produced students who might have passed both the class and laboratory successfully but who had no real sense of where the learning integrated into their overall engineering experience. In an effort to address these concerns, faculty from the Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering Departments at The University of Memphis worked together to design and propose a more reality-based curriculum within the existing course parameters. With the introduction of a limited-scale design project, information developed in the lab was critical to the completion of the design project that applied engineering content to real-time application. Supplementary and supporting information is provided along with project results to make these ideas easily adaptable to any engineering design course. Introduction: Curricular Problems As any reputable engineer knows, understanding the problem is critical to proposing successful solutions. The problems in this case were complex and longstanding. Primarily, there was a problem of redundancy. Before the fall semester of 2002, both the Mechanical Engineering and the Civil Engineering departments at the University of Memphis presented separate Mechanics of Materials classes to juniors in their respective departments. Students from each department were allowed to register for either class to satisfy departmental graduation requirements. Material covered by both departments had a significant overlap but with emphasis on problems more typical to each discipline. Each department had a laboratory course loosely linked to their class. It was not unusual for students to take the lecture portion of the classes in one semester and the lab portion at a later time.

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Phillips, A., & Palazolo, P. (2003, June), You Can't Do A Thing If You Can't Build The Swing: Modeling And Reality In Mechanics Of Materials Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11583

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