Dr. Micic’s presented a breakthrough approach to teaching Engineering Design Technology. Dr. Micic’s lecture detailed his new approaches in teaching statics and strength of materials using parametric Computer Aided Design (CAD) and simulations. “Students get discouraged from pursuing engineering majors due to the math associated with the classes and the difficulty in the abstract nature of engineering sciences, such as; statics, strength of materials, kinematics and dynamics.” said Dr. Micic. “The breakthrough idea was to eliminate this bottleneck, by enhancing the use of simulations as the main tool for studying problems in statics and mechanics of materials. So by using these tools, we were able to transform the class from the very abstract and difficult math assignments, to an activity filled class.”
To bring the idea into fruition, the new approach to teaching was implemented in the Fall 2013 semester in the Engineering Design Technology class ENGT 237: Statics and Strength of Materials. “These students were exposed in lecture to basic concepts in statics and strength of materials, however, the major body of knowledge is formed by using the simulation tools, and by asking ‘What if’ type of questions. The SolidWorks program presents you with almost an instantaneous answer, so students witness knowledge generation in front of their eyes. In this class, students start from learning basic behavior of vectors using parametric sketches inside SolidWorks environment to solving for vector algebra problems. This is followed by exploring sectional properties, solving trusses and beams structures, and then moving on to the mechanics of materials problems. They ended up with solving practical design problems using the materials they learned in this class,” said Dr. Micic.
“This innovated curriculum makes learning much more interesting, keeps students engaged, and helps them to move fast towards the top of the Blooms knowledge taxonomy, to the synthesis and evaluation of the structures. We, at Cerritos College, are at the forefront of such paradigm shift in engineering technology and to the best of our knowledge, we are only community college in South California which offers simulations based curriculum,”
“This new classroom approach in teaching statics and strength of materials was essential in getting a higher retention rate of students than usual. Of 32 students, 30 completed the class, and 28 became Certified SolidWorks Simulation Associate (CSWSA)”, said Instructional Dean of Technology, Dr. Nick Real, Ed.D.
“We are currently extending our simulation centric classes this semester to ENGT 153: Machine Design Applications Using Solid Modeling, wherein students learns conceptual kinematics, dynamics and synthesis of mechanism using SolidWorks motion as a simulation tool. We plan to introduce simulation elements to several other classes,” said Dr. Nick Real.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM:
Interested in Engineering Design Technology? Earn your certificate of achievement and CSWSA certification in our program. To learn more about our Engineering Design Technology department, visit our website at http://cms.cerritos.edu/