(396b) Using Student Developed Comics to Promote Learning of Transport Phenomena Concepts

Pascal, J., University of Connecticut
Anecdotal evidence indicates that current undergraduate engineering students spend numerous hours per week reading popular science-based Internet comics, such as xkcd.com and phdcomics.com, for example. Thus, it makes sense that comics can be leveraged as a learning modality for engineering students. The use of comics in STEM education is not new, however, they have yet to be utilized extensively in higher education to teach engineering. Having taught a senior level mass transport course numerous times, a common challenge for students that persists is applying mathematical concepts to describe binary diffusion. Thus, here we will present the implementation of a project in which teams of students developed comic books with a goal of deriving and explaining the most general form of Fick’s first law of diffusion to an average freshman chemical engineering student. This was piloted in a senior level chemical engineering course, CHE 4131: Transfer Science III: Diffusion and Diffusive-Convective Mass Transport at Tennessee Technological University and will also be conducted during the Spring 2017 semester of an elective transport phenomena course offered at the University of Connecticut. Initial feedback from students was positive, revealing a desire to be creative and explore complex engineering topics from a unique perspective.