Abstract

This paper describes an engineering education attempt in a synthesis class during the 4th year. Since the Kochi University of Technology was inaugurated in April, 1997, engineering education trials had been conducted in the past 4 years. In 1997, 3 student teams participated in an eco-power race held in Kochi, Japan, with hand-made ecological vehicles. In the summer, 1998, three teams participated in the Shikoku Electric Vehicle Rally using light weight vehicles converted into electric cars. The synthesis class was performed based on such past engineering activities out of class. In order to provide an active learning opportunity, a synthetic learning environment is needed rather than just teaching in classes. Manufacturing is also considered to be of great importance for mechanical engineering as well as the basic sciences such as mathematics and physics. As a capstone learning course, a team of four students in the laboratory tried to design and manufacture a hand-made small-sized electric vehicle.

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