The Tinkerer's Pendulum For Machine System's Education: Creating A Basic Hands On Environment With Mechanical "Breadboards"

Kristin L. Wood, John Wood
2000 Annual Conference Proceedings   unpublished
The pendulum of engineering education is swinging from an emphasis of theoretical material to a balance between theory and hands-on activities. This transformation is motivated, in part, by the changing students entering engineering programs. Instead of a tinkering background with the dissection of machines and use of tools, students are now entering with computer, video games, and other "virtual" experiences. This focus has left a void in the ability to relate engineering principles to
more » ... ld devices and applications. In this paper, we introduce a new approach for filling this void in a mechanical engineering curriculum. In particular, we describe modifications and extensions to machine design courses to include hands-on exercises. Through the application of "mechanical breadboards," clear relationships between machine design principles and the reality of machine components are established. These relationships reduce the number of topics covered in the courses, but greatly increase the interest of the students and their potential retention of the material.
doi:10.18260/1-2--8777 fatcat:3jbcz5etiraodfytd24gfocyqu