Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Advisor 1

Michele Miller

Committee Member 1

Nancy Barr

Committee Member 2

John Irwin


Students enrolled in mechanical and manufacturing engineering programs employ differing levels of mechanical aptitude and practical hands-on ability. Many students lack practical experience tinkering with mechanical devices and mechanisms prior to entering their post-secondary years. Student attention spans in traditional classroom environments appear to be decreasing with the ever-increasing addiction to immediate gratification provided by electronic devices, gaming software, and social media platforms. The question is then raised whether or not modern engineering students have the ability to improve mechanical aptitude by simulating a kinesthetic or tactile learning experience through an online tutorial. This project describes the development and testing of an online tutorial using the operation and safety mechanisms of a GLOCK semi-automatic handgun as the training medium. Handgun knowledge, mechanical aptitude, handgun confidence, and implicit beliefs about mechanical aptitude are addressed. Sixteen mechanical engineering and four manufacturing engineering technology undergraduates of Lake Superior State University completed the tutorial in the spring semester of 2018. The study produced positive results, that it may be possible for an online virtual activity to increase the mechanical aptitude of the participant.