Introduction to Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science


Department: Mechanical Engineering

Instructor: Maritza Sanchez and Shuang Qiao
Instructor's Email:; 
Prerequisites: None

Course Description

Mechanical Engineering covers the creation, design, and analysis of many types of systems, technologies, and materials. This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of Mechanical Engineering, as well as providing a brief introduction to Materials Science, and showing what role materials play for Mechanical Engineers. Students will also receive hands-on experience in applying mechanical engineering principles in several fun experiments throughout the course.

Course Goals / Learning Objectives

Each student will become familiar with:

  • The mechanical engineering profession
  • The basic ideas in engineering mechanics and materials
  • The scientific method
  • The basic tenants of engineering ethics and safety
  • The fundamentals of different types of materials
  • The fundamentals of mechanical testing

Course Outline

Week 1

  • Monday: Morning, introduction to units and nomenclature. Afternoon, introduction to forces and moments.
  • Tuesday: Morning, review and introduction to Cantilever. Afternoon, introduction to trusses.
  • Wednesday: Morning, Solidworks balsa wood bridge tutorial. Afternoon, design bridge
  • Thursday: Morning, build/design bridge. Afternoon, build dridge.
  • Friday: Morning, test bridge. Afternoon, test bridge.

Week 2

  • Monday: Morning, introduction to gears and bearings. Afternoon, disassemble bicycle.
  • Tuesday: Morning, introduction to projectile motion. Afternoon, Angry Nerds
  • Wednesday: All day, introduction to dynamics.
  • Thursday: All day, field trip to Boomers/miniature golf game.
  • Friday: Morning, introduction to Bernoulli. Afternoon, submarine experiment.

Week 3

  • Monday: Morning, introduction to propulsion. Afternoon, propulsion experiment.
  • Tuesday: Morning, introduction to solar energy. Afternoon, disassemble engine.
  • Wednesday: All Day, Review.
  • Thursday: Morning, design final project. Afternoon, build final project.
  • Friday: Morning, build final project. Afternoon, test final project.

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