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Student Projects To Improve Student Proficiency With Three-Dimensional Vectors
The engineering Statics class at [university] has been flipped since spring 2011. The class has periodically introduced changes to its structure and learning objects over the time. During fall 2021, we introduced Entrepreneurial Mindset (EM) into the curriculum. Three-dimensional particle equilibrium is one of the first challenging topics covered in Engineering Statics; a team project focused on 3D forces was introduced on the very first day of the class. The students picked the anchor locations from different zones to suspend a balloon turbine mid-air. EM-based learning is designed to take students beyond just finding an answer to the question and consider a bigger picture by making technical and financial decisions and thinking about many possible solutions. Three-dimensional particle equilibrium tested in first midterm exam. We compared exam 1 from fall 2019 and fall 2021 to assess student ability to convert from direction cosines and projection in a plane to determine whether the inclusion of the team project this semester made an impact on students' capability. We also investigated student understanding of reaction forces for free-body diagrams in 3d. We found small difference that were not statistically significant, but anecdotally we believe that the inclusion of the team project increased student understanding.