Multiple models of a freshman engineering experiment

Jeffrey Connor, Vinod Lohani, Kumar Mallikarjunan, G. Loganathan, Jenny Lo

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Presenting freshman students with a single problem to investigate it from a number of different perspectives and with a number of different tools provides them with a broad perspective of problem solving and an exposure to different tools and their appropriate use. Asking the students to take measurements that are then used to develop a theoretical equation gives the students an appreciation of the concept of precision. When students grind through a hand worked problem and then solve the same problem with a programming tool they appreciate the power ofthat tool and the need to understand the underlying physics of the problem in order to create the program. Providing students an opportunity to watch and conduct an experiment (e.g., the physical draining of a tank) gives them insight into the general nature of the equation/theory that controls that discharge. A simple introduction to the concept of systems in engineering design prepares the students for future classes in which the concept is used in greater depth. Overall, the water tower problem and its differing models gave the students preliminary insight into many of the methods, concepts, and tools that they will be more formally exposed to in upper level courses. The authors are continuing efforts to refine the project and plan to use it in future semesters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006
Event113th Annual ASEE Conference and Exposition, 2006 - Chicago, IL, United States
Duration: Jun 18 2006Jun 21 2006


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