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Teaching an Undergraduate Dynamics Course for Mechanical “Engineering Technology” Students: Successful Implementation for Students Learning

[+] Author Affiliations
Awlad Hossain, Jason Durfee, Heechang Bae, Kyle Larsen

Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

Paper No. IMECE2016-65079, pp. V005T06A001; 9 pages
  • ASME 2016 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 5: Education and Globalization
  • Phoenix, Arizona, USA, November 11–17, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5057-2
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


Applied mechanics is a branch of the physical sciences that describes the response of bodies (solids and fluids) or systems of bodies to external forces. It deals with the basic concepts of force, moment and its effects on the bodies at rest or in motion. It helps engineers or engineering students to understand how different bodies behave under the application of different types of loads. Mechanics can be broadly divided into two branches as called Statics and Dynamics. Statics deals with the bodies at rest whereas dynamics involves studies related to bodies in motion. In particular, the major emphasis of a dynamics course is to provide the details of the principles of applied mechanics or physics with the studies of motion of objects caused by forces or torques. It is an important course to develop a method of stripping a problem to its essentials and solving it in a logical, organized manner. In our institution, we offer a one-quarter long Dynamics class for Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) curriculum. This course teaches several topics of solving dynamics problems that belong to Kinematics in Rectilinear & Angular Motions, Plane Motion, Kinetics, Work & Energy, and Impulse & Momentum. This course is designed for the MET students, who are more “hands-on” and have mathematical knowledge up to Calculus II. However, the prerequisite of this course is Tech Statics, not Calculus II. On the other hand, the prerequisites of Tech Statics are Physics and Pre-Cal-II. Therefore, MET students enrolled in Dynamics course solve problems using algebra rather than using calculus. As a whole, this course becomes challenging to convey different concepts of dynamics to our students within 10 weeks’ time frame. To facilitate the overall learning, the course instructors solve different interesting realistic dynamics problems, besides solving the conventional problems from the text book. Solving these realistic dynamics problem helps our students to enhance their conceptual understanding, and motivate them to pursue further in subsequent chapters. The paper presents in details several interesting problems related to different chapters and how they are linked to convey the targeted message related to course objectives. The paper also presents how different topics taught in this class fulfill the targeted course objectives, which are mapped with ABET Engineering Technology criteria. While a course in Dynamics could be a common offering in many universities, the authors of this paper presents the pedagogical approaches undertaken to successfully teach or implement the course objectives to the undergraduate engineering technology students.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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