Amongst some of the more challenging aspects of engineering education is in imparting hands-on experience for the students. Despite the fact that engineering requires practical know-how, this challenge is in itself being compromised as the engineering curriculum over the past few decades increasingly moves away from workshops and laboratories toward classroom lectures and dependence on computer-based training. This paper describes a laboratory experience early in a mechanical and aerospace engineering student’s career which provides an adequate preparation for understanding all aspects of modern digital data acquisition systems. This laboratory experience is coupled with classroom lectures and projects. The laboratories comprise of modules that cover a variety of topics which expose the students to digital data acquisition techniques, data processing and analysis, uncertainty analysis and comparison with theory. Moreover, instead of generic experiments, most of the experiments were built around ordinary items and processes. The laboratory experience is based around National Instruments hardware, controlled via LabVIEW™. Data processing is via MS EXCEL. These platforms are ubiquitous and provide good exposure to similar hardware and software.

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