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  1. In engineering education, conceptual understanding of the subject matter is as important as the attainment of practical skills. Therefore, teaching methodology should be designed in such a way that it enhances student conceptual understanding. To enhance conceptual understanding of fluid flow measurement, in this study, we report on the development of a low-cost, small-sized, reproducible, highly visual venturi meter module for active learning. With this module, students can conduct fluid flow experiments in their classroom or lab setting to learn the fundamental principles behind the venturi meter. Quantitative measurements of flow rates and associated parameters with the module reveal its usefulness for demonstrating fluid flow physics, while worksheet-guided studies promote student engagement and conceptual understanding. Results of pretest, posttest, and motivational survey assessments show that the module and associated activities improve conceptual understanding, result in a surge in confidence, and reinforce the desire to participate. Therefore, based on the findings, the modules developed can be used to enhance student understanding in fluid mechanics courses. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  2. In this paper we report on the development and testing of hands-on desktop learning modules for transport courses in the Chemical and Mechanical Engineering disciplines. Two modules were developed to demonstrate fluid mechanics-related concepts, while two other modules were created for energy transport in heat exchangers. These devices are small, inexpensive, and made of see-through polycarbonate plastics using injection molding. These desktop learning modules are particularly suitable for use in undergraduate classrooms in conjunction with lectures to illustrate the working mechanism of devices seen in an industrial setting. Experiments are performed to understand the flow behavior and heat transfer performance on these modules. Our results show an excellent agreement for hydraulic head loss, volumetric flow rates, and overall heat transfer coefficients between experimental data and the corresponding theory, justifying the design and use of these devices in the classroom. Furthermore, we have measured student learning gains through pre-and posttests for each module based on in-class implementations at different universities. Assessment of student learning outcomes shows significant improvement in conceptual understanding when these modules are used in the undergraduate class. 
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  3. The past twenty years have seen the blossoming of ethics education in undergraduate engineering programs, largely as a response to the large-scale and high-impact engineering disasters that have occurred since the turn of the century. The functional form of this education differs significantly among institutions, and in recent years active learning that demonstrates a strong impact on students’ retention and synthesis of new material have taken hold as the preferred educational methodology. Among active learning strategies, gamified or playful learning has grown in popularity, with substantial evidence indicating that games can increase student participation and social interaction with their classmates and with the subject matter. A key goal of engineering ethics education is for students to learn how to identify, frame, and resolve ethical dilemmas. These dilemmas occur naturally in social situations, in which an individual must reconcile opposing priorities and viewpoints. Thus, it seems natural that as a part of their ethics education, students should discuss contextualized engineering ethical situations with their peers. How these discussions play out, and the manner in which students (particularly first-year engineering students) address and resolve ethical dilemmas in a group setting is the main topic of this research paper. In this study, first-year engineering students from three universities across the northeastern USA participated in group discussions involving engineering ethical scenarios derived from the Engineering Ethics Reasoning Instrument (EERI) and Toxic Workplaces: A Cooperative Ethics Card Game (a game developed by the researchers). Questions were posed to the student groups, which center upon concepts such as integrity, conflicting obligations, and the contextual nature of ethical decision making. An a priori coding schema based on these concepts was applied to analyze the student responses, based upon earlier iterations of this procedure performed in previous years of the study. The primary results from this research will aim to provide some insight about first-year engineering students' mindsets when identifying, framing, and resolving ethical dilemmas. This information can inform ethics education design and development strategies. Furthermore, the experimental procedure is also designed to provide a curated series of ethical engineering scenarios with accompanying discussion questions that could be adopted in any first-year classroom for instructional and evaluative purposes. 
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  4. As this NSF LCDLM dissemination, development, and assessment project matures going into our fourth year of support we are moving forward in parallel on several fronts. We are developing and testing an injection-molded shell-and-tube heat exchanger for heat transfer concepts, an evaporative cooler to expand to another industrial-based heat exchange system, and a bead separation module to demonstrate principles of fluid mechanics in blood cell separations applications. We are also comparing experimental data for our miniaturized hydraulic loss and venturi meter LCDLMs to predicted values based on standard industrial correlations. As we develop these new learning components, we are assessing differential gains based on gender and ethnicity, as well as how students learn with existing LCDLMs in a virtual mode with online videos compared to an in-person hands-on mode of instruction. 
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  5. Jadamba, B ; Khan, A. A ; Migórski, S ; Sama, M. (Ed.)