This paper discusses the results of a study regarding the impact of using Project-Based Learning (PBL) to enhance the understanding of the concepts related to Pipe Network Analysis, a subtopic of Fluid Mechanics, studied by students enrolled in a mechanical engineering degree. It has been frequently reported by students and professors alike, that a lecture-only approach is not effective in terms of helping students grasp the fundamentals of a subject, nor does it help students in actual problem solving where different variables have to be catered to, which may have been ignored in a conventional lecture. Therefore, in this study, a more open-ended, complex project-based approach was used in addition to the lectures on the subject of Pipe Network Analysis. The project required students to design a pipe network for a scaled setup based on specified fluid flow and pressure head requirements at different nodes. An experimental setup that implemented these pipe networks was also developed in order to validate the theoretical results. The students’ grades and their documented responses were used as the criterion for compiling and analyzing the results. We also describe how we incorporated PBL into the classrooms in order to improve the learning experience, and evaluate the efficacy of the proposed method. The overall results show that the students were proactively engaged in the PBL activity, linking their knowledge to the real world, which ultimately led to improved concept development.

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