The work presented is of the development of interactive classroom demonstrations created for use in Engineering Design & Society, a first-year introductory engineering design course with an emphasis of using the human-centered design process to address societal problems. Coursework covers basic programming, solid modeling, rapid prototyping, data acquisition, and sensors. These demonstrations are designed to illustrate the use of sensors across engineering disciplines, educate students categorized as undecided engineering majors about the many branches and applications of the engineering field, and highlight the value of a working knowledge of electrical and computer science components regardless of the chosen discipline.
Each demonstration is composed of a Vernier analog or digital sensor, Vernier Arduino Interface Shield, Arduino, removable breadboard with supporting circuitry, and a model of an environment where the sensor would be applied, typically constructed with 3D printed parts. Students are able to build their own supporting circuitry, implement it in the model environment, and control real time inputs and operating conditions through physical stimulus and manipulating the Arduino code.
Current constructed demonstrations are as follows:
a.) An automated conveyor belt coupled with the Vernier Photogate Sensor with an emphasis on Industrial Engineering and Manufacturing.
b.) A model bridge strut equipped with the Vernier Dual Force sensor in selected cross beams that allows the student to observe static tensile and compressive forces. This demonstration mostly concentrates on Civil engineering, with supplementary mechanical engineering principles.
c.) An automated titration apparatus using a Vernier Ph sensor that illustrates applications of environmental and chemical engineering.
This presented body of work will include supporting schematics of all model demonstrations, including detailed descriptions of their functionality and operation, for other universities interested in developing their own representative models for student education or recruitment. In the future, models of all major engineering subdisciplines will be developed with the intention of providing comprehensive methods of educating undecided engineering majors about future career paths and promoting interdisciplinary critical thought through hands-on interaction.
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