Everyday Examples in Engineering (E³s):
Increase student understanding by using Everyday Examples to teach technical concepts


I walked into my Mechanics of Deformable Solids class with my iPOD on and it immediately got the students’ attention. I used the iPOD to explain basic axial stress and deformation and how these concepts could be used to solve statistically indeterminate problems. Last semester I used two concentric metal bars as an example rather than the iPOD. The calculation for both examples was the same but when I used the metal bars no one cared.

The iPOD headphone wire got their attention because several students had broken theirs and were curious why. Before the first exam I asked students what they would change about the lecture. About 25% of the students suggested adding more examples like the iPOD. I thought this kind of example would be fun, but it was more than that.
— Dr. Scott Kiefer, Teaching Specialist, Mechanical Engineering, Michigan State University

Want to learn more about why E³s work to retain students?

Click here to read the research behind the topics listed below.

  • E³s are examples that are relevant and familiar to students.
  • E³s highlight simple and complex ways that engineers help society.
  • E³s increase student engagement and retention of engineering and computer science students.
  • E³s can be used in large classes.
  • E³s are effective among all groups of students.

Ready to use E³s in your classroom?