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More Tools for Teaching

January 2016 
 
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Welcome to my newsletter.

This newsletter is to share teaching ideas for auto tech instructors and to provide informational updates on what is happening in CT education around the country. 

More Tools for Teaching 


Having trouble getting students to not overtighten micrometers? A simple but very effective method I use is to have students practice measuring the thickness of their cell phones. This is especially fun with rotor mics. Once shown how to properly use a mic, usually by asking for one of the students to volunteer his or her phone (and them not knowing what I'm about to do, of course) have them measure their own phones.This way students very quickly learn the importance of proper mic operation. 

When teaching hydraulics, I use several syringes of different sizes connected with vacuum hoses. Using water as the hydraulic fluid, we build several different hydraulic circuits to represent disc and drum brake systems. Students very quickly and easily see how different size output pistons react to the "master cylinder."

When discussing ride height, springs, shocks, sway bars, and driving dynamics in the steering and suspension course, a common and reoccurring problem is that many students equate ride height with shock absorber condition, meaning worn shocks will cause low ride height. To provide a tangible example of how shocks do not affect ride height, I use one of our school vehicles, a RWD 2001 Kia Sportage,  By leaving a rear shock disconnected, students can see and measure how ride height is unaffected by the shock. This also makes for interesting test-drives to show how severely ride control is compromised by a "defective" or broken shock.

Another method I use for this lesson is to have students who are struggling getting the concept sit on a coil spring and then sit on a shock absorber. When the biggest student in class can barely cause a spring to compress and the smallest student causes a shock to collapse, any doubters are usually convinced as to the purpose of each component. 
 
Stay Tuned!

What's going on in auto tech and in education.


Ralph Nader Wants Auto Industry to Hit the Brakes on Self-Driving Cars

What Your Car Lease Really Costs: Five Things to Know

Faraday deal result of long push by governor and NLV leaders

DowDuPont's combination will create ripple effect throughout auto industry

Delphi to drive fully autonomous car in Vegas at CES

Worth the Watt: A Brief History of the Electric Car

California DMV proposes ban on 'driverless' cars

Is self-driving technology becoming commoditized?

Fuel economy, reality set for collision

Google, Ford Joint Venture Would Advance Technology And Automotive Practices, Ease Challenges

Tesla will have self-driving cars in just two years, Elon Musk boldly declares

The Auto Industry: Driving Towards The Internet of Things

Automotive News' biggest stories of 2015

The Dealership of the Future May Resemble an Apple Store

A Little Less Autonomous: California's New Rules Prohibit Driverless Cars
 
Head to my website for PowerPoints, waveform images, and photos that are available for download for instructional use. Recently added are many new mini-lesson PowerPoints, syllabi, and various worksheets.

If you want to use resources shown in this newsletter, links to the lab activities and images can be downloaded and used for instruction from here.
 

Proud member of the North American Council of Automotive Teachers (NACAT).

NACAT is devoted to automotive education and to the teachers and trainers of automotive technology. 


Join us at the NACAT conference at San Jacinto College in Houston, Texas, July 18 - 21, 2016.
Comments, questions, complaints, criticisms? Email me!

Recently added - a blog! Now even more random ramblings are available. See link below.

Visit my website to check out my automotive textbooks available through Cengage Learning.  

Past issues of this newsletter are available from the bottom of the home page.
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