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Using Toys Effectively in Fluid Mechanics Education

[+] Author Affiliations
Said Shakerin, Camilla Saviz

University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA

Paper No. FEDSM2009-78500, pp. 277-283; 7 pages
  • ASME 2009 Fluids Engineering Division Summer Meeting
  • Volume 2: Fora
  • Vail, Colorado, USA, August 2–6, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Fluids Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4373-4 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3855-6
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


Many inexpensive and readily available toys can offer benefits in support of technical education in addition to their primary function as tools for fun and entertainment. These toys can help facilitate learning at all levels from K-12 to university. In this paper, a short review of the use of toys in physics and engineering education is provided, followed by an introduction to several categories of toys that use principles of fluid mechanics. Several examples of beautiful and fun toys that demonstrate properties of density and viscosity and their effects on fluid behavior and motion are described. Features of each toy are explained and the relevant engineering/scientific concepts demonstrated by the toy are discussed. Furthermore, suggestions are made as to how the toys could be used as part of a curriculum, and assignments based on these toys are suggested as challenges for students.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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