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ERIC Number: EJ1096171
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: EISSN-1557-5284
EISSN: N/A
Teaching Engineering Fundamentals Using Fundamental Dimensions: An Innovative Approach
Moaveni, Saeed
Journal of STEM Education: Innovations and Research, v8 n3-4 p63-74 Jun-Dec 2007
In this paper, we will focus on an innovative way to teach some of the engineering fundamentals at the freshman level in an introductory engineering class. Unfortunately, today many students graduate without a good grasp of these fundamental concepts--concepts that every engineer, regardless of his or her area of specialization, should know. In this paper, we discuss how to introduce students right away to some of the fundamentals that they will see over and over in some form or other during their college years. We emphasize that from our observation of our surroundings, we have learned that we need only a few physical quantities (fundamental dimensions) to describe events and our surroundings. With the help of these fundamental dimensions we can define or derive other necessary physical quantities. In this paper, we explain that there are many engineering design variables that are related to these fundamental dimensions (quantities). We also emphasize that we need not only physical dimensions to describe our surroundings, but also some way to scale or divide these physical dimensions. For example, time is considered a physical dimension, but it can be divided into both small and large portions, such as seconds, minutes, hours, and so on. To become a successful engineer, a student must first fully understand these fundamentals. Then it is important for the student to know how these variables are measured, approximated, calculated, or used in engineering design and practice.
Institute for STEM Education and Research. P.O. Box 4001, Auburn, AL 36831. Tel: 334-844-3360; Web site: http://www.jstem.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Minnesota
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A