Creating Everyday Examples in Engineering Lesson Plans

What are E³s? 

E³s are objects or activities that are familiar to students, that can be used to demonstrate and teach engineering concepts. Examples of E³s include using hula hoops and wooden rulers to teach free or forced vibrations; sausages to demonstrate Mohr's circle of stress; or iPods that demonstrate many things. E³s aren’t design challenges or projects.

Why do we need E³s?

Integrating E³s into 1st and 2nd year engineering courses is one of the research-based strategies ENGAGE is using to improve retention of engineering students. Studies indicate that students are motivated to learn when they can make a connection to something familiar that illustrates the concept they are trying to understand. (E³s Research Brief)

How do we create E³s?

If you’re not sure what everyday examples to use, look around your campus for inspiration or even better, ask your current or former students. Finding everyday examples can be a great intellectual creative challenge—and fun. More tips can be found in Not Your Mother's Everyday Examples.