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Scenarios and Content

These are the available SBL curriculum and curriculum under development: 

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  • Madison Longboard - Choosing a Truck - The scenario involves two recent mechanical engineering graduates (Samantha and Adam) from the University of Wisconsin who start a company to pursue the opportunity of marathon longboarding. The first challenge is to choose the trucks and to do that the student must determine the forces on both the front and back trucks assuming different stances by the rider. The lab uses meter sticks, a jeweler scale and moveable weights to aid in the calculation. Engineering Concepts: normal force, normal stress, moments, moment center, planar systems and safety factor Entrepreneurial Concepts: business model, value proposition, revenue model, cost model, profit model


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    Madison Longboard - Designing a Deck - This continues the story of Sam and Adam as they design the marathon longboard deck.  The lab uses material samples, L-brackets, rubber hands and a 50N tube scale. Engineering Concepts: modulus of elasticity, deflection, neutral axis, cantilever beam, bending stress, design for deflection Entrepreneurial Concepts: vision statement, mission statement, SWOT analysis, business risk, business uncertainty


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    Trek b-cycle - This scenario follows a young mechanical engineer working a Trek Bicycles who is tasked with designing and sourcing a drive train for a new urban shared bicycle. The student must pick a customer persona (from three options), justify why that is the correct choice and specify the ideal chainring and cassette pairing. Engineering Concepts: mechanical advantage, output load/input load, gears, speed ratio, multiple FBDs  Entrepreneurial Concepts: personas, empathy, product planning, interpersonal relationships, vendor relations


  • Baby Buffalo (Under Development) - This scenario is about a recent masters-level mechanical engineering product design student who takes a job with a non-profit in Myanmar. The challenge is to determine why a treadle pump is failing prematurely and then determine if expansion should be delayed (missing a dry season) or fix in place the following season. There is also an opportunity to lengthen the treadles making it possible for children to do the irrigation and the student must decide if this change is wise. Engineering Concepts: shear force, stresses in pressure vessels, torque and moment, cantilever beams, stress/strain, ductile/brittle failure Entrepreneurial Concepts: social entrepreneurship, systemic thinking, engineering ethics, unintended consequences, funding models


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    Yosemite Bridge - This is a longstanding and very popular class exercise in ENGR-14 that is being "fitted" with a scenario.  The scenario involves two UC-Merced mechanical engineering students who have graduated and started an ironworks company.  They are invited to bid on a new footbridge project  at the nearby Yosemite National Park.  The Park Engineer insists on not only a design that meets specification but also a scale model test of the design.  To insure that they can also run a business the students prepare an Engineering Report outlining the bridge characteristics and their business model. This scenario takes portions of four classes over two weeks and the students build and test a scale model of their bridge design. Engineering Concepts: trusses, equilibrium of trusses, analysis of joints, analysis of sections, two force members, design to a safety factor, failure analysis Entrepreneurial Concepts: business model canvass, technical writing