Technology and Engineering Teacher
Force Systems, Statics
The basic concepts inherent to statics, including unbalanced and balanced forces and instability and stability of physical systems, have traditionally been covered in middle and high school physical science courses (Physical Science as indicated in Next Generation Science Standards). Yet, these concepts are covered using a physical science approach that has minor but significant differences in terminology, structure, and focus when compared with an engineering approach. Since a robust understanding of statics is considered an essential component for most engineering disciplines, Technology and Engineering Education’s (T&EE) implementation of statics with an engineering approach could promote students’ ability to transfer learning from scientific theory into conceptualized practical application within an engineering design problem. During the utilitarian period of our discipline (i.e., Manual Training [Arts] and Industrial Arts), scientific theories were applied to practical static problems like tree stands, dirt-bike stands, can crushers, wall brackets for hanging objects, scissor lifts, log splitters, dumb trailers, furniture, and other similar projects and mechanisms. Moving away from a more utilitarian rationale and towards an academic one, Technology Education and now T&EE needs to find the balance between theoretical and practical learning. The intention of this article is to provide the reader with a better understanding of an engineering approach to statics involving the terminology, structure, and focus aligned with applying theory to practical hands-on learning activities.
Hughes, A. J., & Merrill, C. (2020). Solving Concurrent and Nonconcurrent Coplanar Force Systems: Balancing Theory and Practice in the T&EE Classroom. Technology and Engineering Teacher, 80(1), 16-22.
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