ASEE Zone 2 Conference 2017

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A Simple Experiment to Enhance Student Learning in the Area of Fins

Final Paper
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At Penn State Erie - The Behrend College a project is underway to create a series of laboratory exercises to use in the Heat Transfer lab and the Fluid Power lab for Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) curriculum. The intent of the exercises is to have simple to understand equipment so that the students can concentrate on the concepts rather than get distracted by the operation of the equipment. These exercises focus on key topics within the course. The exercise described in this paper relates to fin calculations, and the basic concepts affecting the results. This exercise is new, and has only been used one time to date.
This exercise does not simply employ a “cookbook” approach. A pre-exercise worksheet is used to have the students predict results based on an understanding of the theory. After the worksheets are complete the exercise is run and data is collected. A post-exercise worksheet is used by the students to help guide them in the analysis of the data, and to make comparisons with the applicable theory. This paper describes the worksheets, outlines the equipment and exercise and presents an evaluation of the student work for the first in class trial of the exercise. Suggestions for improvements are also discussed.


Robert Edwards    
Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
United States

Liyong Sun    
Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
United States


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