In order to assist students, gain conceptual understanding of internal forces, a physical manipulative of a truss was developed in order to help students visualize, feel, and analyze the behavior of the material being manipulated. The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand how a physical manipulative of a truss contributed to the conceptual understanding of truss analysis in statics. In this study, six students were presented with a simple problem of a truss, where no measurements or numerical quantities were provided, and asked to determine which members where in tension or compression. Subsequently, the participants were given a model of a physical manipulative resembling the same problem they were given before and asked the same questions. Preliminary qualitative results indicated that physical manipulative helped students visualize concepts taught in the classroom and provided a venue to gain conceptual understanding of internal forces.
Manipulatives in Engineering Statics: Supplementing Analytical Techniques with Physical ModelsAmerican Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) National Conference
Document TypeConference Paper
PublisherAmerican Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)
LocationNew Orleans, LA
Citation InformationMejia, J.A., Goodridge, W.H., Call, B.J., Wood, S.D. Manipulatives in Engineering Statics: Supplementing Analytical Techniques with Physical Models, American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) National Conference, New Orleans, LA, 28 June 2016. https://peer.asee.org/25673