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Unformatted text preview: Journal of Engineering Science 2003, Vol. 5, No. 2, 275-301 Copyright 2003 by the Tau Alpha Pi Engineering Association A Better Class Environment: Improving Lighting, Comfort and Location of Classrooms at Penn State Altoona John Smith Engineering Department, Penn State University-Altoona, Altoona, Pennsylvania A major problem in education involves a student’s ability to retain information discussed in the classroom. Retaining information is very difficult if the learning atmosphere is strenuous or uncomfortable. The lighting, comfort and location of a classroom have a direct effect on a student’s education. This project allows engineering students of Penn State Altoona to design and construct a way to light classrooms properly, make seating more comfortable, and make classroom locations educationally favorable. The result of this project increases student grades, gives engineering students work experience and increases the educational reputation of Penn State Altoona. Introduction Each year education increases in difficulty for school students. Although most students expect and adapt to the change, there are still concerns of ways to make learning a painless and less stressful process. A major problem in education involves the student’s ability to retain information discussed in the classroom. Retaining information can be very difficult if the learning atmosphere is strenuous or uncomfortable. The lighting, comfort and location of a classroom have a direct effect on a student’s education. The lighting of a classroom plays a major part in student education. No matter the class subject, a student is required to read some type of material during class: a chalkboard, a textbook, a notebook, or a newspaper article. A student’s eye sight is extremely important. “Selected aesthetic, comfort, and health (features)… affect the quality of the learning environment .” Stressing a student’s eyesight is detrimental to the overall concentration and retention in class. “ Many of the classrooms fail to meet the… (lighting) requirements ,” which makes lighting a big concern in classes. Another key element of concern is the comfort of the seating in a classroom. A student, if uncomfortable, will be unable to retain as much information as needed. By forming a beneficial “chair-type in a… work environment ,” a student will be able to focus on the professor’s significant material rather than the discomfort of the seating. The classroom location is also a concern relating to a student’s performance in class. “A number of studies have shown that backpack load was associated with LBP... .” If a student must walk up more than one flight of stairs, “this can produce strains in the neck and strains in the back ” while carrying a load of heavy books. The feeling of fatigue will set in before the student reaches the classroom, which will cause an unwillingness to pay full attention to the professor in class....
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