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birthday, the meet being held under the company's auspices. Each division was organized with its five men to the team, and when they came down to the field, the rooting of the sections was just as enthusiastic as it is on the football gridiron, although the yell leading was not so well organized. A Japanese team won the nonEnglish speaking contest, with a Greek team a close second. The real competition, however, was between the American sections representing the various pits, mines, and smelters. The results of the Ely district meet were so encouraging that teams were organized in every industrial center in Nevada, following the customary procedure of the Bureau of Mines and the American Red Cross in first aid work. With the assistance of the State Trades and Labor Council and prominent labor leaders, we arranged for state-wide first aid and mine rescue contests to be held at the University on Labor Day. There were a large number of people present to witness the meet, representing every section of the state. Everybody wanted to see the rescue crews in action. Even an artificial mine fire with subsequent resuscitation of victims, is a thriller worthy of perpetuation by the “movies.” This may seem a far cry from real engineering education, but it centers public attention on the engineering school and the University and we receive credit for a great public service. We primarily need the interest of the public. The eighty men who contested in this meet represented every line of technical activity with which we have to deal. The judges, with all fairness, managed to distribute the eighty odd medals, trophies, and diplomas very evenly among the districts. I believe that nearly every contestant went home with the feeling that his prowess had met with just and suitable award. It is most important to recognize this factor when arranging such meets. Buttons, medals, ribbons, and diplomas are inexpensive and we all dearly love such distinctions, though often unwilling to admit it. In Europe today men are giving up their lives in hopes of obtaining a small bronze or iron cross attached to a piece of ribbon.
Reverting again to the original subject of engineering extension, I wish to emphasize the fact that the real and lasting benefit of such performances lies in their reflex action. We become well acquainted with technical men laboring on the frontiers of industry and they bring us their difficulties. Today we have intimate connection with scores of plants and their problems are our problems. Our instructors and students are inspired to a fuller appreciation of the greatness and interest of their work. Just one week ago one of our engineering graduates was elected Governor of Nevada. This partly confirms the belief that ours is the task of training the men to conquer the mighty deserts and to utilize the vast alkali wastes of the far West; ours is the task of subduing nature in her most untamed and forbidding aspect.
I crave your pardon if I have occupied more than my allotted time. I prepared no formal paper and intended to speak but briefly. In conclusion let me call attention to the necessity for more concerted action if we are to obtain federal aid for our engineering extension projects. I suggest that our incoming Executive Board be empowered to definitely proceed in the matter and that it be made a special order of business at our next annual meeting. We have no quarrel with the proponents of agricultural extension legislation, but we should strongly contend that the engineer, the mechanic, and the artisan be not excluded from such benefits.
PRESIDENT MARSTON.—Dean Scrugham has certainly presented in a very vivid way some of the experiences in his state, in starting outside work like this. It is a work which is different from ordinary college work, of course.
I might say just a word of warning to the institutions which are engaged in it: You will find that it is not all roses, by any means. When you go into the outside world you will have to give and take, and you will take some knocks as well as secure some desirable commendation in connection with such work. You will find, as Dean Scrugham found, that the only thing which will count in the end is some really valuable service to the state.
I have had a little experience in the state represented by the next paper, which has extended to the point of seeing, in a political campaign, a man running for the legislature on a platform of opposition to the state institution. Also I have seen the benefit which came to the state institution from work which produced results which were considered really of value to the state. I have seen such effects in connection with the recent good roads work of the state, which, though not under the state college, is yet located with its headquarters at the state college, and which, within a year, has created a revolution of sentiment from an attitude of extreme hostility to one of approbation.
In Iowa there are no gold mines, but the popular idea out there is that a good sized Iowa farm in first class condition is better than any gold mine. The agricultural extension department has accomplished a very great work in that state in helping to make these gold mines perpetual, to teach the people how to maintain their fertility, and the people seem favorably disposed to the engineering extension, possibly partly for that reason.
Director Smith is not here, and Dean Bissell will read his paper.
DEAN KEENE.-I am informed that the A. A. A. C. E. S. will adjourn at 11:40 promptly, and go in a body to the White House to be received by the President of the United States, and that we are officially invited to share in this privilege. I move, therefore, that we adjourn at 11:30.
DEAN SCRUGHAM.—1 second the motion. (The motion prevailed unanimously.)
PRESIDENT MARSTON.—The Secretary will now read the paper by Mr. K. G. Smith, Director of Engineering Extension in Iowa.
METHODS OF INSTRUCTION IN ENGINEERING EXTENSION.
DIRECTOR K. G. SMITH, AMES, IOWA.
Next in importance to the general plan of organization of a Department of Engineering Extension comes the determination of methods of instruction. The methods described in this paper are not methods discovered by an exhaustive investigation, but those which have come within the range of the writer's experience in Wisconsin and Iowa. Methods to be used depend on two things:
(1) Subjects to be taught or treated of.
palities or individuals to be reached.
There are in reality only three methods, for short courses, bulletins and combination methods are only special developments of lectures, class work and correspondence study. These methods will be discussed in turn.
In the field of engineering extension, the popular lecture, as generally understood, has no place, unless popular lectures on scientific topics are to be considered one of its legitimate functions. Lectures confined strictly to the field of engineering extension may be divided into three classes. (1) Lectures before technical audiences on topics of engineering interest; (2) Lectures given for instructional purposes before groups interested in particular topics in engineering or industry; (3) Lectures before non-technical audiences partaking of the nature of general engineering advice.
The first class, lectures before technical audiences, comprises the papers and addresses usually given before engineering societies and need not be further discussed. The field for such lectures is very limited.
The field for instructional lectures before groups interested in particular topics is not extensive, except in large industrial centers where industries are concentrated, because there are few topics of general interest to men employed in widely different industries. The writer has given a number of noon lectures in shops on special topics with the co-operation of employers and local Y. M. C. A's.
The actual value of these single lectures as an educational force is doubtful, though numbers of men may be reached in this way. One of the most successful lectures of this type given by the writer was an illustrated one on “The Locomotive.” This was given before an audience of 150 men in a railroad shop while standing on the bed of a large planer with coat and collar hanging from the cross-rail. It is needless to say that such a lecture differs in form, subject matter and manner of presentation from the “common or garden variety.” These lectures must be accompanied by illustrations or demonstrations to make them effective. Moving picture films can be used in this work and, when they are available, there is no difficulty in getting a crowd. At present, however, it seems that the real efficacy of the moving picture as an educational factor in engineering extension is yet to be demonstrated. Its efficacy as a “crowd getter" and publicity agent is not to be denied.
Lectures of real technical value can be given before class groups studying a particular course. These will be more fully discussed under class study. Lectures partaking of the nature of general engineering advice to be given before city councils, commercial clubs, etc., are just being developed in Iowa in connection with the experiment station. The demand for these must grow exactly as the demand for the services of a consulting engineer must grow in any state developing industrially.
On the whole, the lecture method may be said to be the easiest method of giving engineering extension instruction. It is a valuable publicity agent and can be used most efficiently in large industrial centers.
To make class study a success as a means of extension instruction, two things are necessary. (1) A definite, laid out course of a certain number of lessons; (2) An instructor who has a strong personality and who knows how to teach extension classes.
The course may vary from a carefully outlined standard text book
to the specially prepared printed or mimeographed text. Class study may be conducted in two ways, depending upon the subject taught. Subjects like mathematics and drawing must be taught by the indi. vidual method. Each man has his own lesson and works upon it, receiving a new lesson or task as soon as the one in hand is completed. Thus, in the same class all stages of advancement may be represented. Even totally different subjects may be taught in the same class. Such a class is not a recitation, it is more like a study hour, in which each student is writing out his own lesson.
Subjects in which there is chance for discussion may be taught by the class method, one lesson being covered at each meeting, and a new one assigned. Written work may be done or not at the option of the student. According to the plan used in Iowa, written work must be done and an examination passed if a certificate is granted. No certificate is granted for class work only. In a class of this kind the instructor leads discussion, answers questions, and sees that all points are thoroughly understood. No written work is done during the class hour. Such subjects as plumbing, heating and ventilation, and gas engines can be taught by this method.
The best instructor for class work is, of course, the regular extension man.
Unless classes are held near the central office, or unless there is a district extension instructor, traveling expenses and train schedules will prevent sending a regular extension man as often as once week to meet a class. In this case, a good live local man can usually be found who will meet classes at so much per evening. When co operating with public schools and Y. M. C. A's. such instructors can more easily be found and often men of experience in this class of work can be secured.
One plan the writer has successfully tried is to alternate a local man with a regular extension man. In other words, once in two weeks a regular extension man meets the class. If the course is 20 lessons, he has 10 lessons and the local man 10 lessons. Sometimes it may be possible for the regular man to take only every third or every fourth meeting, or possibly only two in the whole course, the local man taking all the rest.
When the extension man can be present only at long intervals, the work becomes combination lecture and class work, the regular man giving two or three lectures and the local man all the class work. The lectures in this case are sometimes summaries of the work up to the point reached or they may be interesting expansions of the work covered, all depending on the capacity of the class and the character of the course.
When the course is one of many, conducted by a city night school, the lecture by the extension man may be made an interesting feature for the whole night school and not for his class alone.
To sum up class study as a method of instruction, it is exceedingly effective, adapts itself well to co-operative plans with local agencies, but requires definite courses and careful supervision from regular extension men. It may be combined very effectively with lecture work and correspondence study.
The short course is distinctly an agricultural extension development and it by no means follows that it will be equally successful as an engineering extension development. There are many reasons for this statement, the chief one being the diversification of industry. An engineering extension short course should be highly specialized and adapted to the needs of one particular group or trade. If the course is advanced and the instruction given by lectures only, we have merely a development of lecture study, but the same rule of specialization holds good.
A short course for tradesmen should not consist of lectures, but rather of actual practice on some special trade feature under expert instructors. Such a course for painters and decorators was given last winter at Ames. Actual trade instruction under master craftsmen was given in graining, stenciling and tiffany. This course was a success in every way. It does not follow at all that short courses can be given for every trade. The following are the conditions which make a successful trade course possible:
(1) The trade must be capable of subdivision into special
topics in one or more of which instruction can be
given. (2) The trade must require manual skill, technical knowl
edge, or both. (3) The materials and equipment must be such as can be
provided without too much expense. It goes without saying that a careful study of conditions in the trade as to character of men, support of organized labor, number of men in the industry and their desire for further training must be made before such short courses are offered, if their success is to be at all assured.
A development of the short course in the shape of a traveling short course for automobile owners and operators was put on in 27 Iowa towns last winter and spring. An auto expert was sent out who gave five lectures a week, conducted an exhibit of auto appliances, rendered expert advice to car owners and adjusted numerous defects in machines. Local committees paid all expenses, save the salary of the lecturer.
The short course, on the whole, is a very effective way of reaching, for a brief length of time, special groups of men. It requires a great amount of preparation, advertising and supervision. It is really only an intensified form of class and lecture study.
Correspondence Study. Correspondence study as a method of instruction is too well known to need explanation. The writer's experience leads him to think that this method unaccompanied by class work of some sort is not successful in the elementary industrial work for the majority of students. There are young, ambitious fellows who will do work well by correspondence, but on the whole in elementary correspondence work, the percentage of students dropping work is high. In the more advanced work correspondence study is one of the most effective ways of handling engineering extension work. There seems to be no why a number of preparatory and four-year engineering courses cannot be prepared.
To handle a large number of correspondence students requires a large office force. To avoid congestion of work in our department, we are having a number of correspondence papers corrected by local instructors who report on grades once a month to the central office. This is really a combination of class work and correspondence study. All papers from students working wholly by correspondence come to the central office.
How large the field for correspondence study is in engineering alone, there is at present much uncertainty. It would seem that the great opportunity for this work is in the field of general arts and science, not comprehended under the term engineering.