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Using Reverse Engineering to Teach Key Systems Concepts


Systems and Global Engineering The SAGE Project is a ... focuses on the big picture and the relationships among the systems and subsystems of complex projects ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Using Reverse Engineering to Teach Key Systems Concepts

Using Reverse Engineering to Teach Key Systems
Henry Harms David A. Janosz, Jr.

Session Goal
  • To show that reverse engineering activities can
    be used to help students develop an understanding
    of important engineering concepts.

Systems and Global Engineering
  • The SAGE Project is a partnership between Stevens
    Institute of Technology and the New Jersey
    Technology Education Association.
  • The goal of the project is to develop systems
    engineering instructional materials for high
    school engineering and technology classes.

Systems Engineering
  • Systems Engineering (SE) focuses on the big
    picture and the relationships among the systems
    and subsystems of complex projects such as
  • Designing a new airliner
  • Operating a mass transit system

Global Engineering
  • 3-D CAD and other software packages have made it
    relatively easy for firms to collaborate on
    design and engineering over long distances.
  • For example, the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner is
    being engineered and built by 50 companies
    located in 13 states and 10 countries.

SAGE Instructional Modules
  • Introduction to the Core Concepts of SE
  • Home Lighting in Developing Countries
  • Biodynamic Farming
  • Water Purification

  • To simulate a systems and global engineering
    project approach, communication among
    participating schools is primarily electronic.
  • This is facilitated through the use of our online
    system, Collaboration Central.

Introduction to Core Concepts Module
  • Students work in groups to reverse engineer Kodak
    and Fuji single-use cameras.
  • They prepare assembly directions to swap.
    Students are challenged to reassemble the other
    brand camera.
  • Classes select one or more sets of directions to
    post online.

Why Teach Reverse Engineering?
  • Industry does it
  • Many of todays students lack hands-on experience
  • It helps students learn about systems,
    measurement, materials and processes
  • Reverse engineering encourages systems thinking

Products for Reverse Engineering
  • Single-use cameras
  • Wind up toys
  • Unique dollar store products
  • Portable tools

Systems Basics
  • A system is a group of parts working together for
    a common goal
  • The way the parts interact with each other
    determines how the system behaves
  • Engineered systems have become more complex,
    thats why its important to understand systems

Kinds of Systems
  • Natural The Human Body
  • Human Made School System
  • Engineered System
  • The task of developing an engineered system
    begins with a need or opportunity.

Universal Systems Model
  • Input Goal is to generate electricity. The fuel
    such as gas, oil or nuclear energy is also an
  • Process Using the fuel to produce steam to turn
    a generator
  • Output Electricity
  • Feedback Control systems monitor demand and
    adjust the amount of power generated accordingly

  • An LED Flashlight
  • Battery Power Source
  • LED Provides the light
  • Reflector Directs the light
  • Lens Focuses the Light
  • Switch Controls the overall system

Systems Structure
  • Systems can be large and complex such as the air
    traffic control system
  • A washing machine is a system but it is not
  • An LED flashlight is an example of a small system
  • Despite variations in size, all systems have
    common characteristics.

Systems Have a Purpose
  • Example the purpose of a cell phone is to help
    you communicate.
  • The cell phone is a system itself and it is part
    of a larger system that includes the service
    provider, local towers and the national network
  • All parts must be present if the system is to work

Systems Thinking
  • Systems thinking is a process used to solve
    complex problems. In traditional thinking we try
    to understand something by analyzing its parts.
  • Systems thinking focuses on the system as a whole
    by studying relationships among its parts instead
    of the individual parts. The idea is to
    understand the system as a whole.

Systems Trends
  • Systems will continue to become more complex
  • More systems will become essential to daily life.
    Examples email, social networking and GPS
  • Security will become increasingly important
  • Systems will operate faster than ever before

Related STEM Standards
  • Mathematics Measurement, Problem Solving,
    Communications, Connections
  • ITEEA Standards for Technological Literacy
    Standards 1-11 and 13
  • Science Unifying Concepts and Processes, Science
    as Inquiry, Physical Science, Science and
    Technology, Science in Personal and Social

Classroom Reverse Engineering
  • Form groups of 3-4
  • Have students make a sketch, to show what they
    think is inside the item. Then disassemble it.
  • Discuss materials, identify the individual parts
    and how they are combined to create systems and
    subsystems. Discuss design choices and tradeoffs.
  • Prepare disassembly and reassembly directions
    with measurements
  • Exchange items and directions with another group
  • Use the directions and provide feedback to the
    other group

Join the SAGE Project
  • Registration for all modules is now open
  • The Core Concepts Module begins on April 4, 2011
    and concludes on April 21, 2011
  • The other modules are 4-6 weeks in length and
    also begin on April 4th.
  • For more information
  • Contact
  • or
  • Dave Janosz
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