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A New Activity Based Course for Freshman Engineering Jim Cowart, US Naval Academy Zbignew Bzymek, UCONN ICEE 2005 Meeting: Gliwice, Poland.

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Presentation on theme: "A New Activity Based Course for Freshman Engineering Jim Cowart, US Naval Academy Zbignew Bzymek, UCONN ICEE 2005 Meeting: Gliwice, Poland."— Presentation transcript:

1 A New Activity Based Course for Freshman Engineering Jim Cowart, US Naval Academy Zbignew Bzymek, UCONN ICEE 2005 Meeting: Gliwice, Poland

2 Objectives and Approach To develop basic engineering fundamentals Increased enthusiasm and retainment ~8 topics/activities (longer final project) Each topic includes: video clips, hands-on exercises, brief lectures 2, 1-1/4 hour sessions each week Short reports required for each activity Small groups for each activity

3 Galileo’s Inclined Planes: Graphing NOVA clip: “Galileo’s Battle for the Heavens” Students collect data: time and distance (d ~ t 2 ) Log-Log graphing -> ‘g’ gravitational const.

4 Adjustable Pendulums: Curve Fitting & Practical Math-Modeling Measure period (T) as a function of length, mass and starting angle NOVA clip: “Lost at Sea: The Search for Longitude” Curve fit data to find equation Compare to Theory: T=2  sqrt(L/g)

5 Canon Launch: Engineering Estimation NOVA video clip: “Secrets of Lost Empires II: Medieval Siege” Derive equations of vertical and horizontal motion, springs (instructor calibrates ‘k’) Canon and Can at different heights Next session: test and solution, precision and accuracy

6 Electrolyzer / Fuel Cell: Efficiency and Units Hydrogen economy video Testing/Experimentation: time and volume, V&I Light->Electrolyzer->FC ->Propeller Lecture: efficiency and units/conversions Estimate light power -> solar cell

7 Engineering Modeling: Heat Transfer Newton’s Law of Cooling derived by physical argument Discretized Form: Step through solution Unsteady assignment

8 Reverse Engineering: Cars and Cameras Evaluate performance and disassemble cars Sketch mechanism: gears and clutch Present to class (various models & costs) Re-assemble! CAD introduction Mid-term project: Camera disassembly ‘Push n Go’ by Tomy Toys Inc.

9 Statistics: Wind Tunnel and Sports Equipment Do a baseball and tennis ball have (statistically significant) different drag? Basic statistics lecture (alternating groups) Students choose two different object, run at 2 speeds Repeat 7 times Confidence intervals

10 Final Project: LEGO Robotics Design, build and program LEGO Mindstorm Robot Gearing Programming: Labview based (used Junior and Senior years also) New challenge most years –Maze Races –Search for white can –Battle Bots

11 Original Developer: Tufts University The Center for Engineering Educational Outreach Summary: Basic engineering skills developed, great enthusiasm


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