ABOUT TANGIBLES THAT TEACH
After many years teaching, world renowned Aerospace and Controls Professor, Eric Feron, recognized a disconnect between engineering principles taught in the classroom and real-world applications. He began developing hands-on projects for his classes and integrating them into his curriculum at Georgia Tech. After several years of studying teaching results, he found that with tangible projects, students understood in-class material better and enjoyed learning more. Together, he and a group of students decided to start incorporating tangible projects into other classes.
Tangibles That Teach aims to supplement traditional textbooks with hands-on projects and other innovative, flexible teaching strategies to enable students to learn complex principles in an experiential manner and to provide instructors with an equitable option to evaluate students’ knowledge.
Tangibles That Teach believes that humans learn best while playing and strives to provide tools that are cost-effective for students to be able to experiment on an individual level without the fear of breaking expensive equipment. The primary goal of these options is to demonstrate theorems from class by allowing students to test their knowledge in a way that provides immediate feedback. Secondary goals of projects include exposing students to small elements of other topics that may or may not be covered in other courses, such as circuits, manufacturing, coding, basic assembly, soldering and engineering skills such as problem solving and overcoming imperfections.
Preliminary data suggests that these tools are an equitable option to evaluate students’ understanding of class material. Our tools have been used as extra credit, required weekly lab equipment, and test replacements both in traditional and remote settings. Classes that use these tools have an average GPA similar to other classes, but withdrawal rate tends towards zero.
Are you a professor interested in developing a project and text for an engineering class? Please contact us! We are always looking for collaborators. We are here to assist with everything from the technical part of your project to writing the text.