InTEL: Interactive Toolkit for Engineering Learning

The Purse Problem (prototype mock up)
This was the first complete prototype that we built. The student has to determine the forces working upon the woman's arm.

1. Toolkit problems are first introduced with simple "real world image":

The Purse Problem: Real World Image

2. The real world image is broken down into its basic underlying forms, in this case bones and muscles:

The Purse Problem: Muscle and Bones provide Basic Structure

3. An even more abstracted structure becomes the basic framework and the exact problem is given:

The Purse Problem: Muscle and Bones provide Basic Structure

4. The student selects which base component they will use to begin solving the problem:

The Purse Problem: Selecting a component to apply forces to

5. The student adds forces to that base component. In this case adding a force to the woman's hand:

The Purse Problem: Applying a force to the hand

6. The student adds all the major forces operating on the base component, building a Free Body Diagram:

The Purse Problem: All the Forces are Applied to the Free Body Diagram

7. Students check to see if they are correct, if the added forces create an equilibrium. In this case, they don't:

The Purse Problem: Checking the Equilibrium of Applied Forces

8. Once the Free Body Diagram is correct, the student can build equations (which is the final step):

The Purse Problem: Building Equations

9. (Extra Note) Hovering the mouse over any interface element will cause an explanatory dialog box pop up:

The Purse Problem: Helpful Dialog Boxes