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In order to meet changing curricular and societal needs, a three-phase system and synchronous motor laboratory experience for sophomore-level students in a wide variety of engineering majors was designed, implemented, and assessed. The experiment is unusual in its early placement in the curriculum, and in that it focuses primarily on basic understanding of balanced three-phase systems and synchronous motor operating principles. While a low-voltage three-phase system and subfractional-horsepower electric motors were used, experimental results proved to be reliable, accurate, and repeatable. Changes in student knowledge and confidence in the application of that knowledge was assessed and shown to have increased significantly in each case.