National Science Foundation
C. Richard Cassady, Kristen Scanlon
University of Arkansas
Increase the understanding of engineering logistics, management of supply chains, and selective maintenance issues in middle schools by means of a computer-based game called Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 which requires the student to develop key skills to run design and run a theme park.
The purpose of this project was to increase the understanding of engineering logistics, management of supply chains, and selective maintenance issues in middle schools.
Throughout the course of this unit of study, the students develop an understanding of the fundamental ideas relating to logistics and engineering problem solving. The students also begin to understand the mathematical tools and models used by engineers. The project’s activities are designed to meet the needs of middle school learners which include a rich middle school math curriculum (linear relationships, tables, charts, graphs, proportional reasoning, integrated algebra and geometry).
The theme park scenario contributes to, and it gives students much-needed practice at real- world problem solving. The game strategies help players to increase profits and customer satisfaction, while minimizing costs, much as industrial engineers would in a real- life situation. The importance of effective oral and written communication skills is also emphasized as the students share information among team members and other teams developing a team Design Portfolio. Awards are given at the end of this project for teamwork, attitude, leadership, and effort.