Teaching

Courses

24-261 Mechanics I: 2D Design

In Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 our sophomore mechanics sequence "24-261 Statics" and "24-262 Stress Analysis" will be replaced with "24-261 Mechanics I: 2D Design" and "24-262 Mechanics II: 3D Design". These revamped courses will meet the same educational objectives but will alter the sequence of the topics so that stress can be introduced sooner and so that design projects with inquiry-based learning can motivate the introduction of material in the course. This reframing incorporates a process-based approach to problem solving that will layer in complexity throughout the sequence.

24-684 Nanoscale Manufacturing Using Structural DNA Nanotechnology

  • Offered Fall 2020 and Fall 2021. Next offering likely Spring '24

  • This course introduces the design, fabrication and characterization of structural DNA nanotechnology as well as applications of those nanoscale self-assembled systems.

  • This project-based course on nanoscale manufacturing with structural DNA nanotechnology was developed with the help of undergraduate Mechanical Engineering student Charlotte Andreasen and Ph.D. student Sebastian Arias.

  • This course does not have pre-requisites.

24-689 Making Your Product at Scale

  • Taught Spring 2020, 2021 and 2022.

  • During Spring 2018 and Spring 2019 previous course title was "Modern Manufacturing in Steeltown"

  • This project-based course on manufacturing was developed with support from the Donald L. and Rhonda Struminger Faculty Fellowship in Mechanical Engineering.

  • Four undergraduate Mechanical Engineering students worked with Professor Taylor on course development: Jade Crockem, Kelly Underwood, Sarah Karp, and Shivang Chordia.

  • Card game on contract manufacturing, which was featured by the College of Engineering in this video, was developed with undergraduate student Dominique Valverde and masters student Kaushik Apte.

24-371 Engineering Design I: Methods and Skills

  • Taught Fall 2016, 2017 and 2018

  • This junior-level undergraduate course in mechanical design introduces students to a design process in which we solve constrained design problems using intuition, analysis with simple models, advanced analytical methods, computer-aided design tools, prototyping and empirical testing.

  • Throughout the course students work individually and in groups to complete three major projects. Each project involves a competition component and an opportunity to iterate and improve designs after initial testing and feedback.

Special Topics in Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology

  • Fall 2016 - Taught DNA origami module of this mini course.

  • Professor Taylor helped develop a special topics course on DNA Nanotechnology with Professor Catalina Achim from Chemistry at CMU.

Outreach

MMBL Outreach

The Microsystems and Mechanobiology Lab at CMU supports educational activities in the broader Pittsburgh region by participating in regional events like the Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair and the Intel International Science Fair.

LGC STEM Career Explorations and 360° Lab Tours (Tour the lab online!)

In a multi-component outreach website, Charlotte (Charlie) Andreasen from the Taylor lab introduces her research and takes online visitors on a 360 degree interactive tour of the lab. This project was is part of the LGC STEM Career Explorations and 360° Lab Tours created by the Leonard Gelfand Center for Service Learning and Outreach at CMU.

Charlie was interviewed by Kristin Lavery from the Gelfand Center, and in this video Charlie does an excellent job introducing her research. She also discusses early educators who inspired her to pursue science and engineering as well as lessons learned in undergrad that she wishes she could share with her younger self.

This LGC 360 site also provides interactive self-guided activities for interested middle and high school students to learn about DNA nanotechnology, and they can visit the lab and explore the online through a VR compatible 360 lab tour.

Lab360Link

Women in MechE Activites

Professor Taylor is also faculty advisor for the student group Women in MechE, a new organization comprised of undergraduate and graduate women in Mechanical Engineering. Women in MechE aims to create a supportive and inclusive Mechanical Engineering community and to connect students with experienced professionals in industry and academia.

Gelfand Class on DNA Nanotechnology with Middle Schoolers

Prof. Taylor and MMBL students teach a mini course on DNA Nanoengineering to middle schoolers in the popular Gelfand Outreach Saturday Series Class. During this course, middle schoolers use DNA origami prototyping tools, developed by the MMBL, to create their own macroscale models of possible structural DNA nanotechnology.

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For teachers and students who want to use this activity in their own teaching and learning, we provide the 3D-printable .STL file for the jig we use to punch the holes in the pipe insulation (we recommend simple kitchen skewers for hole-punching). In addition, we provide the laser cutting .PDF file for cutting out connectors from wood or acrylic.

connector file for laser cutting (PDF)

jig for 3D printing (STL)

Invisible Jazz Labs

Prof. Taylor improvised with dancers, musicians, and poets to tell the story of her research. The video from this Invisible Jazz Labs performance is available here. At the same performance, Prof. Alan McGaughey of MechE at CMU also presented his work on nanoscale heat transfer and that video is available here.

Focus Group with Middle School and High School Teachers

Our interdisciplinary research into microstructures and nanomachines can be used to enhance teaching in regional middle and high schools. Our lab together with Professor Matt Travers from the Robotics Institute worked with the Leonard Gelfand Center to run our first focus group with middle school and high school teachers in April 2017. During this workshop teachers gave us input on how our research could be used to improve student engagement and learning. With this input, we will be developing a new module for the Leonard Gelfand Center's summer classes for K-8 students.

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Focus group participants on our tour of the Roboseum in the Robotics Institute. See photo gallery for more pictures of the event.