Many of our projects are inspired by the collegiate experiences of our alumni. Several of them reported that they completed mechanical dissection projects -- exercises where they would disassemble a product and report on its components and functionality.
I decided to take the project one step further. Our students would work in large project teams and subgroups to create a virtual replica of a remote controlled car. A local hobby shop sold me a semi-functional car at a discount. I presented the idea to the students on the first day of school to pique their interest and to set goals for the project.
With the endgame in mind, a series of technical briefings and activities prepared the students for the task at hand. Students expanded their knowledge of modeling and assembly by studying linkage theory and simulation techniques.
The students worked as a team to disassemble, organize, measure, and model the components of the car. They were responsible for conducting research to learn about their assigned parts and systems. Team leaders collaborated to generate the final project assembly. This project made students confident that they could work on or lead project teams to complete an advanced analysis and modeling challenge.