Hands-on Explorations as Background Research for First-Year Design Projects

TitleHands-on Explorations as Background Research for First-Year Design Projects
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsTrivett, A., and J. Rathlin
Conference NameProceedings of the Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA)
Date Publishedaug
AbstractCollectively and individually, first-yearstudents in Mechanical Engineering lack familiarity withreal mechanical systems. Individual students have notedthat they have not grown up able to simply “take stuffapart”. As a result, the mechanical engineeringundergraduates have minimal skills or knowledge ofcommon mechanical devices. The foundations course forthe Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics at theUniversity of Waterloo has adopted the role of giving newstudents opportunities to interact with hardware in an“Engineering Clinic” environment.This paper will provide a preliminary work-inprogressreport on the activities and the role theseactivities played in the student experience. The paper willreport on the delivery of the activities, and the initialstudent reactions to the hands-on activities in this context.