Implementing Hands-on Experiments in an Engineering Technology Introductory Course Proceedings (Faculty180)

cited authors

  • Cioc, Carmen; Cioc, Sorin; Linkous, Zachary


  • The mechanical engineering technology (MET) students at our university start their curriculum with a three credit hour course entitled “Computers for Engineering Technology”. Over the years, this class was subject of many changes with the objective of increasing student retention and overall satisfaction. Since this course is one of the first technical courses the students have to take, the latest approach is to incorporate hands on laboratory experience with the goal of getting the freshmen accustomed with novel techniques of acquiring data, building the skills to analyze and investigate data using Excel software, writing a laboratory report, using a Word processor, and comparing their results with computer simulation results using Matlab or Simulink. At the end of the course each student will have the opportunity to improve their presentation skills by presenting their findings in front of their peers using PowerPoint. For the first hands-on experiment the students used a Vernier Dynamics Cart and Track System; this particular project was chosen to enhance the students’ skills in trigonometry and physics mechanics. In this experiment students collected the data in the form of space and time, and were asked to find the speed and acceleration. If this teaching methodology will prove beneficial for the MET students, as shown by student questionnaires and tracking their results in the courses such as Dynamics, the authors will introduce more experiments, such as a Wind Turbine Experiment and other basic laboratory experiments.

publication date

  • 2017

presented at event