Thermodynamics in High Rhythms and Rhymes: Creative Ways of Knowing in Engineering

BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT

Thermodynamics is a foundational course in nearly every engineering program. In a traditional classroom, instructors focus on the analysis of thermodynamic energy systems and their application to real world contexts. Because these complex systems can be difficult to understand, some instructors encourage students to tap into their creative side and translate thermodynamics into a language they can clearly understand. In this study, the instructor of a sophomore-level engineering thermodynamics class asked students to generate a creative interpretation of Thermodynamics. The presentations were a high-energy event in rhythms and rhymes, as students presented their creative work; evaluation shows the creative interpretation helped clarify course concepts and increased students’ appreciation of thermodynamics and the engineering profession. This study further investigates the relationship between students’ performance on problems and final exam scores [N=147]. Results indicated that students’ engagement in creative presentations contributed to their learning on the topic chosen by students in their creative entries.

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Diana Bairaktarova

Diana Bairaktarova

Michele Eodice

Michele Eodice


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