This paper describes a hands-on laboratory thermofluid project which is taught as part of a one-semester, junior-level mechanical engineering course titled Core Measurements Laboratory. The experiment focuses on the characterization of multi-mode heat transfer from a range of cartridge-heated fin geometries cooled by conduction, natural convection and radiation. The project involves the design and construction of the test facility, experimental characterization of fin heat transfer, and comparison of experimental results with corresponding analytical and numerical predictions, with a formal report submitted on completion. The project is undertaken by a team of four students over a five-week period. Emphasis is placed on highlighting potential discrepancies between measurement and predictions, which are inherent in the test configurations considered, reflecting realistic engineering situations. Sample measurement and analysis results are reported in this paper. The teaching strategy employed to integrate fundamental theories with hands-on experiences is described. The effectiveness of the laboratory project in enhancing student learning of heat transfer, engineering analysis of discrepancies between predictions and measurements, and project management skills was demonstrated by monitoring student performance improvements over the duration of the project.

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