Implementation Of Integrated Thermo Fluid Experiments In Wpi's Discovery Classroom

James C. Hermanson, David J. Olinger
2000 Annual Conference Proceedings   unpublished
An integrated experimental, analytical, and numerical approach to engineering education was developed and implemented in introductory fluid-thermal science courses at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). Central to the implementation of these innovations is a facility at WPI known as the Discovery Classroom. In this facility the traditional lecture hall has been redefined to combine a multi-media classroom, an adjoining experimental laboratory, and computational facilities to produce an
more » ... nment where non-traditional learning takes place. We have designated the approach using this facility as the DIANE philosophy: Daily Integration of Analytical, Numerical, and Experimental methods into engineering classes. In a typical application, experimental apparatus are demonstrated directly in class during an engineering lecture. Real-time quantitative data are acquired from the apparatus, and the data are analyzed and compared to concurrently developed theory by the students in class. The objective of this approach is to help students better understand relationships between the physical experiments and theory, while gaining an awareness of the integration of various modes of engineering analysis. This approach also allows the effective inclusion of significant experimental components into courses taught within WPI's seven-week term structure. Three introductory undergraduate engineering classes at WPI, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, and aerodynamics, were re-designed. Student assessment of the innovations indicated that approximately 90% of 275 students preferred the re-designed courses to traditional lecture-oriented courses, while also believing that they gained a better understanding of engineering fundamentals.
doi:10.18260/1-2--8436 fatcat:rf3spfkplvco3bder7whoogkbq