A basic shop course was typical in the early days of mechanical engineering studies. However, in the late seventies, the shop course was dropped from the engineering curriculum in most schools for various reasons. The need for a preparatory manufacturing course became apparent after recognizing the lack of modest shop skills exhibited by our students in design-build projects which are routinely assigned in several junior and senior level courses. The traditional manufacturing course, that all students are required to take during the senior year, requires higher-level prerequisites. In addition, being a senior level course, it provides very little opportunity for the students to utilize those skills in other courses. To address this void, a new engineering workshop course has been objectively designed and implemented for the sophomore mechanical and aerospace engineering students, beginning fall 2003. The goals of the course are to develop an appreciation for manufacturing in engineering design, prepare students for follow-up manufacturing course, and develop necessary skills for design-build projects at various levels of the curriculum. The engineering shop course is designed around nine laboratory content modules that introduce the students to the fundamentals of shop safety, measurement, and manufacturing. The present paper describes the development and implementation of the course. The effectiveness of the course in meeting the goals is also assessed through surveys conducted both before and after the course is completed. Long-term success will be measured in the future by a survey of graduating seniors to assess the effectiveness of the engineering shop course in the students’ ability to successfully complete design-build projects assigned in other courses. The modular design would allow this course to be adapted for achieving similar objectives elsewhere.

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