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A New Approach to the Treatment of Modeling in the Freshman Engineering Course at Roger Williams University Matthew R. Stein Charles R. Thomas School of.

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Presentation on theme: "A New Approach to the Treatment of Modeling in the Freshman Engineering Course at Roger Williams University Matthew R. Stein Charles R. Thomas School of."— Presentation transcript:

1 A New Approach to the Treatment of Modeling in the Freshman Engineering Course at Roger Williams University Matthew R. Stein Charles R. Thomas School of Engineering, Computing and Construction Management Roger Williams University Bristol, RI NE ASEE WPI March 2006

2 NE ASEE ENRG 110 – Engineering Graphics and Design 1 st Engineering course at RWU – (Fall semester of freshman year) ~60 Students 50% AutoCAD instruction 50% instruction in engineering design Design: semester-long group project Undergraduate Catalog

3 NE ASEE Teaching “Design” Topics: –Difference between design and science –5 stages of design –Needs assessment –Stages of team development –Managing Conflict –Models and prototypes Method: –Lecture –Hands-on activity Hands on Example for Models and Prototypes: –Draw a battery-powered pencil sharpener

4 NE ASEE FA 2006 – Design Project Description Structurally Challenging –Raise a 16 lb bowling ball as high as possible over a horizontal standard and deposit it back on the floor in a small wooden container Materials –10’ of 2’’ diameter PVC –2’ x 2’’ x 2’’ piece of lumber –2’’ PVC spherical cap –Roll of el-cheapo duct tape –200 standard, intact, unmodified empty aluminum cans

5 NE ASEE FA 2006 – Design Project Description Limited support points –Three wooden platforms 1, 2'x2' team- member platform with attached crank 3, 2'x2' structure support platforms Bowling Ball in starting fixture Destination fixture Standard posts Horizontal Bar 4’

6 NE ASEE FA 2006 – Design Project Description Limited human participation –Students may only turn a crank 1, 2'x2' team- member platform with attached crank 3, 2'x2' structure support platforms Bowling Ball in starting fixture Destination fixture Standard posts Horizontal Bar 4’

7 NE ASEE FA 2006 – Design Project Description Semi-competitive demonstration –Four trials used at any time during the semester – typically the final day –Scoring Points for specific heights Bonus for three best heights

8 NE ASEE Modeling the Design Project – Hands on activity Common student questions: Will our design work? Do we violate any rules? Answer: Hold a mini-design competition based on the semester-long project –One class period in length –Fabulous prize (high-quality duct tape) –Analogous materials –Analogous goals Our Intent: Demonstrate the value of modeling in solving engineering problems

9 NE ASEE Modeling the Design Project – Hands on activity MaterialsModel PVC pipeDrinking Straw Piece of lumber1/8’’ diameter wooden dowel PVC cap[Nothing: A hidden message?] Duct Tape Plasticine Modeling Clay Aluminum Cans

10 NE ASEE Comparison To the Video!!

11 NE ASEE Did it work? Asked students to comment on the activity in their design notebooks and on semester-end course evaluations Just because the activity is enjoyed by the students, does not mean that the goal was accomplished!! Must avoid asking specific questions to which students think there is a “correct answer”

12 NE ASEE Student Feedback Survey question, comments in design notebook –The modeling exercise was excellent. –The modeling exercise was not useful at all, because my particular groups idea could not work on a small scale, it just wasn’t possible, so we made a model of something totally different than our project. –Modeling was excellent, helped us to creat a part for our structure we didn't think we needed –I found the experiences of this class very valuable. The modeling was real life experiences that gave me an idea of what will be expected of me in an engineering job in the future. I found this information very helpful.

13 NE ASEE Conclusions –Modeling activity seemed to be enjoyed by the students –Less convincing that the objective message was communicated goals Future Work –Solicit more specific feedback –Again be wary of looking for what they perceive to be “correct answers” –Do the exercise earlier in the semester to give them some time to actually use the method Conclusions and Future Work

14 NE ASEE Photo of PVC pipe: 1/pvcpipe.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.nsf.org/business/newsroom/plumbing99- 1/pvcpipe.html&h=162&w=232&sz=7&tbnid=PfD_XolzJ0pvlM:&tbnh=71&tbnw=103&hl=en&start=3&prev=/images%3Fq%3DPVC%2Bpi pe%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26safe%3Doff%26rls%3DRNWE,RNWE: ,RNWE:en%26sa%3DN Sources


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