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Shippable Teaching Laboratory Kits For Remote Fluid Mechanics Instruction
To-date, there exist no fully-online ABET-accredited undergraduate mechanical engineering programs. Absence of such programs stems from need for undergraduates to gain hands-on experience through engineering laboratories. Moving to all-online instruction in the COVID-19 pandemic’s wake motivated developing, testing, and deploying pragmatic experiences for remote engineering learners taking lab-intensive classes all-online. Even after in-person instruction resumes, lab kit pedagogical innovations and best practices developed during the pandemic provide new and valuable instructional tools to make engineering education more accessible for students.
Pre-pandemic studies on remote engineering instruction using kits showed through direct assessment that students learn material as well as in brick-and-mortar labs. Moreover, through indirect assessments, students rated these experiences higher than conventional lab learning because they allowed students to 1) interact physically with their own experimental apparatus; 2) deeply explore phenomena of interest without peer scrutiny; and 3) learn lab content on-demand, asynchronously, and without constraints such as set hours imposed by brick-and-mortar teaching labs. The University of Florida and Engineer Inc. have partnered to develop and deploy an economical, shippable hands-on fluid mechanics educational lab kit that faithfully demonstrates measurable fluids phenomena and principles without loss of fidelity or precision.
Participants in this workshop will receive a complimentary fluids lab kit by mail enabling their participation in a simulated hands-on remote learning activity. Guided by workshop organizers, participants will use their kits to build and run an experiment, collect data, and discuss results with peers in real time to mimic a remote student learning experience. The goal of this workshop is to showcase the viability of kits for fluids laboratory instruction while opening a dialog in the ASEE-SE section about kit deployment as a post-pandemic engineering education tool.