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Many Problems, One Solution Method: Teaching Statics without `Special Cases'

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1 Author(s)
Newcomer, J.L. ; Dept. of Eng. Technol., Western Washington Univ., Bellingham, WA

This paper outlines an approach to teaching Statics that is organized around five topics: free body diagrams, equilibrium, equivalence, separation of rigid bodies, and friction, without breaking the problems in to special cases. The course uses a consistent method of having students draw free body diagrams, develop equilibrium equations, and solve these equations for all types of problems. The course is supported by the use of conceptual warm up exercises that allow the instructor to assess student misconceptions at the beginning of a topic. After an outline of the course learning objectives and structure, the paper discusses the warm up exercises and assessment of student learning

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference, 36th Annual

Date of Conference:

27-31 Oct. 2006