Research in Engineering and Aviation
Learning Statics: A Foundational Approach
“Learning Statics: A Foundational Approach”, 2008 ASEE Conference and Exposition, Pittsburgh, USA.
Statics is a pivotal course, whose concepts serve as the building blocks for future courses in engineering, mechanics of solids and design in particular. There is a common disappointment among many educators in the students’ abilities to apply the concepts to design/analyze real systems in the subsequent courses. The literature review also points to several innovative teaching pedagogies to alleviate the problems. The authors’ teaching pedagogy is based on the premise that students learn more effectively when the relevance of the concepts to real world problems and a systematic improvement in their skill set is tactilely, emotionally, and rationally understood. The pedagogy uses five teaching instruments: case studies, short design examples, intelligent formulation problems, concept questions, and work sheets. The paper discusses rationale behind these instruments and its implementation with examples. The results of a student survey indicate that the five instruments had a positive influence on the learning experience.