Desktop experiment kit improves engineering ed

June 24, 2013

Washington State University researchers joined forces with Armfield Ltd., a teaching equipment company, to launch a desktop learning module (DLM) that will improve engineering education.

The DLM was initially developed by Bernard Van Wie, professor in the Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical and , and his students and colleagues. It is a desktop apparatus with multiple, easily removable cartridges that can be reconfigured to perform experiments.

Van Wie and his team joined with Armfield to produce the final product, a one-cubic-foot unit called the DLMX that can hold seven different interchangeable cartridges, each representing a different miniaturized industrial equipment process.

Armfield is launching the final commercialized product at the American Society for conference being held through Thursday, June 26, in Atlanta, Ga.

The DLMX makes it easy for educators to use modern and better pedagogical approaches that include cooperative, hands-on, active and problem-based learning.

"When students physically see process equipment in action they can easily match the math they are learning to something real," Van Wie said.

For instance, experiments with the heat exchanger cartridge help students understand between fluids. They apply math directly to the to show they can predict heat transfer accurately.

Understanding the concepts of cross flow and parallel flow can be confusing, said Ph.D. student Baba Abdul, but with the DLMX students see the difference. They understand application of the equations "rather than just 'plugging and chugging,' " he said. Abdul worked with Van Wie in developing the teaching module.

Van Wie has worked since the late 1990s to improve engineering education and to close the gap between how learn and the way that engineering has traditionally been taught. In particular, he led a team of researchers in developing a based on cooperative, hands-on, active, problem-based learning (CHAPL).

Explore further: Teachers' gestures boost math learning

Related Stories

Teachers' gestures boost math learning

March 29, 2013

Students perform better when their instructors use hand gestures – a simple teaching tool that could yield benefits in higher-level math such as algebra.

Fostering critical thinking via assessment

February 7, 2013

Critical thinking skills have been identified as learning outcomes expected of students. Teaching towards developing thinking skills is quite recent, attempts are observed to find ways to infuse critical thinking into the ...

Math problems are a problem for job-seekers, employers say

April 4, 2013

Before job-seekers fill out an application for work making foam products for the aerospace industry at General Plastics Manufacturing Co. in Tacoma, Wash., they have to take a math test. Eighteen questions, 30 minutes, and ...

Recommended for you

A not-quite-random walk demystifies the algorithm

December 15, 2017

The algorithm is having a cultural moment. Originally a math and computer science term, algorithms are now used to account for everything from military drone strikes and financial market forecasts to Google search results.

US faces moment of truth on 'net neutrality'

December 14, 2017

The acrimonious battle over "net neutrality" in America comes to a head Thursday with a US agency set to vote to roll back rules enacted two years earlier aimed at preventing a "two-speed" internet.

FCC votes along party lines to end 'net neutrality' (Update)

December 14, 2017

The Federal Communications Commission repealed the Obama-era "net neutrality" rules Thursday, giving internet service providers like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T a free hand to slow or block websites and apps as they see fit ...

The wet road to fast and stable batteries

December 14, 2017

An international team of scientists—including several researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory—has discovered an anode battery material with superfast charging and stable operation ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.