The InTEL Project (NSF award #0647915, 2007-2011) aimed to improve
Statics learning generally and to increase representation of women and
Under-Represented Minorities (URMs) in Engineering by creating
interactive problems drawn from real-world contexts that demonstrate
the usefulness of engineering.

Exercises were developed for the introductory Statics course taken by
all Georgia Tech Engineering majors – their introduction to engineering
problem solving – and covered the following subjects:

  • Equilibrium
  • Frames
  • Distributed load
  • Centroids
  • Trusses
  • Friction
  • 3D
Potential Benefits
InTEL’s interactive Statics problems aim to foster:
  • diagrammic reasoning characteristic of "thinking like an
    engineer."
  • compelling connections between engineering and real-world
    problems.
  • sustained disciplinary engagement among women and URMs.
  • increased retention of women and URMs in engineering majors.
Target Audience: college-level engineering students at Georgia Tech
and beyond.

Approach/Methods
Interactive exercises were designed for every topic in the Statics
syllabus, emphasizing the creation of the Free Body Diagram and the
social context of engineering problems.

All exercises were tested in an experimental group assigned computer-
based homework problems, matched with a control group assigned
paper-based problems.

Survey data was collected to identify strengths and weaknesses of
computer-based exercises, and to track changes in attitudes toward
engineering.

Performance and retention statistics of women and URMs exposed to
InTEL exercises were tracked and compared to a control group.

Observed Outcomes
1. Over 95% of those who start the computer-based problems finish
them with the correct answer.

2. Students reported focusing more on learning the correct problem-
solving method than just trying to find the right answer, using feedback
from the computer-based tool.

3. Students believed that the software helped them to visualize the
problem, making it more comprehensible.

NSF Award #0647915
For support or inquiries please email InTEL Support
2007 Georgia Institute of Technology   ::   Atlanta, Georgia 30332