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Introductory physics labs provide many challenging yet applicable experiments and concepts to the many fields of engineering. One such lab has been developed at West Virginia University that explores resistivities of several different materials and ties this concept into electrical engineering practices and standards. Many students do not realize that resistivity is a very significant quantity that contributes greatly to the understanding of natural as well as man-made materials; it is the DNA of materials. This lab provides engineering students an opportunity to not only learn physics of materials, but to also gain real-world experience and understanding of why certain materials are used in electronic devices and when designing and constructing buildings. This lab has been implemented in several introductory lab levels here at West Virginia University, and all have been met with enthusiasm and strong participation. In our pre-engineering physics course, this has been especially effective, as it has given the students some hands-on experience with physics principles that they will make use of in their future careers.
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