Robert A. Brandell

Photo of Robert Brandell and students in the classroomRobert A. Brandell (BS Mech Egr '84) has been teaching mathematics for 17 years at Calvert Hall College, a college preparatory high school in Baltimore, Maryland.

Last year he developed and taught an Introduction to Engineering course to juniors and seniors who expressed an interest in an engineering career. This hands-on, project-based course engages students in the mechanical and civil engineering design process. Working individually and in teams, 21 students learned how to identify needs, develop solutions, build prototypes, test, and redesign. Among the various activities, students built four-bar mechanisms to achieve desired outputs; built towers that had to meet cost, materials, and load requirements; tested plastics, concrete, Photo<br />
 of a classroom projectand other materials under tension, compression, bending, and torsion to calculate stress, strain, elasticity, etc.; predicted and tested the amount of bending of steel bars in cantilever bending; tested thermal properties of various insulation materials; and learned how to draw 3-D engineering diagrams by hand and with software. Brandell also brought in several local engineers to describe and demonstrate their work. 

The students enjoyed the class and more than 30 students have signed up for next year.

Brandell's e-mail address is brandellr@calverthall.com