Students struggle to conceptualize Engineering Mechanics (i.e. Newtonian Physics, Statics, and Dynamics) fundamentals because they cannot successfully visualize the effects of external loads on physical systems and/or do not intuitively comprehend the static or dynamic response. Traditionally, Engineering Mechanics courses like Statics and Dynamics have been primarily lecture-based with little experimentation. The authors contend that through the use of inquirybased, multimodal activities, lower-division engineering students can more effectively interpret Engineering Mechanics concepts. Instructors must place emphasis on engendering properly conceived engineering intuition and contextualizing concepts and fundamentals. The authors hypothesize that by utilizing often simple, multimodal, inquiry-based exercises, instructors can better overcome misconceptions. A novel methodology termed “guided discovery” is presented herein. It borrows aspects of challenge-based and discovery learning. The method, however, is optimized for short in-class activities and homework assignments. Several modules are presented to illustrate the processes used and some preliminary results are included.


First published in Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition Conference. © 2011 American Society for Engineering Education.


American Society for Engineering Education

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J. A. Kypuros, H. Vasquez, C. Tarawneh, M. Knecht, and R. Wrinkle, 2011, “Guided Discovery Modules for Statics and Dynamics,” Proceedings of the ASEE Conference and Exposition, Vancouver, BC, Canada, June 26-29, 2011.