The Role of Renovation in Teaching Thermal Science

Exploit New Digital Technologies for Teaching Thermal Science

  • Introduction

  • New Digital Technologies for Information Flow, Interactive Communication and Evolving Curricula.

  • Evolving Curricula

  • Example: University of Michigan 2014

  • New Digital Tools Helps Integrating Different Disciplines at Schools

  • We Need to Create a Global Knowledge Capital of the Thermal Science.

  • How to Create a Global Knowledge Capital of the Thermal Science.

  • How Can We Teach to Public, to Scientists and Engineers of Other Disciplines?

  • How Can we Make Our Education at the Universities More Economical to the Students?



  • Introduction

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    My topic is "The role of Renovation in Teaching Thermal Science." I know that we are all experts in teaching thermal science but I will just give you two messages that we can discuss later in the panel discussions. In order to prepare our undergraduate students to do the work proposed by the previous speakers, we need undergraduate students prepare for these. The first message is. Students, faculty and administrators should work together to fully exploit new digital technologies for faster information flow, interactive communication, and evolving curricula.



    New Digital Technologies for Information Flow, Interactive Communication and Evolving Curricula.

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    This here shows the defined seven societal challenges within the European Framework Program for Research and Innovation, the so called Horizon 2020 program, which is a huge European R&D funding source. If you look to these top-down defined societal challenges, cit's in the area of health, food, efficient energy, smart or green transport, climate action, and resource and raw materials efficiency, then Europe in a changing world and also a secure society.

    What do I mean by exploit new digital technologies? New digital technologies is using digital tools and interactive environment to teach and allow for faster communication and information flow. The students may adopt new technologies faster than the us. In order to secure their attention and get them interested in thermal science, there should be a fast tract adoption of advance tools by us, such as smart phones, iPods and so, for a more dynamic environment using social media (twitter, Facebook, and so). Thermal science faculty should be flexible, knowledgeable and should participate in technological developments. Of course, the administrators should keep in mind that their common interest with the faculty is teaching and the student’s learning. The faculty also should receive the necessary support in learning digital tools and social media.



    Evolving Curricula

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    Evolving Curricula – online learning: The students should be directed to engage self-learning rather than traditional classroom lectures by the educators. That means, thermal problems based engaged learning will teach them to search, and teach them to self educate themselves. How about individual curriculum? There should be a need for individual curriculum based on ability, interest, strength and weaknesses of each student rather than “one for all” type of curriculum. Strategy and investments for the Sustainable University Education should have a hybrid form, if you want to stay sustainable. It should combine both online teaching with the traditional but engaged teaching.



    Example: University of Michigan 2014

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    For example, this just came out in spring 2014 from the Michigan Engineering Magazine. University of Michigan, Professor Steve Yalisove, he was teaching Material and Manufacturing class. He taught on Mondays regular classical teaching and on the Wednesdays he taught based on engaged learning activities other than classical traditional lectures and student scores for the engaged learning activities class were higher than the Monday class.



    More Effort should be Spent to Make Tools Available to the Faculty.

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    More effort should be spent to make tools available to the faculty – we need to integrate science, math more than we did, chemistry, physics, statistics, materials science into thermal engineering. To integrate technological developments and the engineering to the evolving curriculum we need to have the support, for example, you can have the projects in classrooms, in courses, or in the form of Capstone Design Projects, but must be very clearly organized and interrelated among the different disciplines at school. We can enhance learning and stimulate the students' motivation to learn fast and learn more.

    At Rice, we establish a design kitchen to bring students, all engineering classes to study capstone design course, in the form they do the project altogether – electrical, mechanical, materials science students – they will that on one project together. This way they will be teaching each other, especially if they have also online material from the previous courses available to them. They can go and discuss what they learn, they teach each other, they learn by themselves.

    I teach heat transfer course at Rice to juniors. I use OWL-Space web tool available to me and this also available to all Rice students. I communicate with my students through this web tool, just like maybe many of you are doing the same. They can also refer to their previous courses, like science, chemistry, physics courses, through their web tool. They are all available for them throughout their education at Rice. I also try to cover fundamentals of nanoscale and microscale heat transfer. At the end of the semester, I give two-three papers to two students, on it they can collaborate with another student and then ask them to write me a written report. I work with them for one week individually, group of twos, individually to get their paper ready and understand some of the equations and material already written in the recent papers and relate those research paper material to what I have taught in the class. I usually do it at last week of the classes.



    How to Create a Global Knowledge Capital of the Thermal Science.

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    Another message is we need to create a global knowledge capital of the thermal science. We should continuously create an environment to teach thermal science and engineering to public and to scientists and also to engineers of other disciplines. We should use again digital technology and continuously create an environment to teach those courses. We should have to have transdisciplinary team of engineers or researchers across multiple social perspectives and fields of knowledge to exchange ideas and also work together to solve new problems at the graduate level. Second message is mainly for the graduate level.



    How Can We Teach to Public, to Scientists and Engineers of Other Disciplines?

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    We should use again digital technology and continuously create an environment to teach those courses. We should have to have transdisciplinary team of engineers or researchers across multiple social perspectives and fields of knowledge to exchange ideas and also work together to solve new problems at the graduate level. Second message is mainly for the graduate level.



    How Can We Make Our Education at the Universities More Economical to the Students?

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    However, university education must continue to increase awareness of complex environment – economical, social, political and technical issue to do further the development. We all agree on that; however, can we reduce the cost of higher education? If you look at the economics, published on July 4, 2014, students' burden through their tuition fee payment is increasing although public support is stagnant actually during the last years, since 2008 is decreasing. We also have to find out how we can make our education at the universities more economical to the students? Again can we do that by using digital environment or maybe less administrators at our universities or some other means?

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