Anti-College Experiment: The First Steps

Alright, let’s start where every five year old starts when they want to know something: Wikipedia.

What I’m trying to learn is supposed to take four to five years of intense study.  The short version is that mechanical engineering is the study and application of how things move and work.

The broadly accepted basics of the field are:

  •  Statics and Dynamics
  • Strength of materials
  • Instrumentation and measurement
  • Electrotechnology
  • Electronics
  • Thermodynamics, heat transfer and HVAC
  • Combustion, automotive engines and fuel
  • Fluid mechanics and fluid dynamics
  • Mechanism design and kinematics
  • Manufacturing engineering
  • Hydraulics and pneumatics
  • Mathematics with a focus on calculus, differential equations and linear algebra
  • Engineering design
  • Product design
  • Material engineering
  • Mechatronics
  • Design engineering

Oh my goodness.

How does one eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.

Why The Heck Are We Still Paying For College?

It is 2013.  We as a species have invented a communication medium that has made information easier than ever to access and share.  We are putting more and more information onto the internet and we are sharing it FOR FREE.

With a few quick searches, you can find almost any knowledge you want, from how many people there are in the world (over 7 billion as of the posting of this) to kids that actually find the answers to their homework questions for math and science.

So, knowing that, I pose this question:

For any advanced skill that “requires” a college degree, do we really need to go to college to learn it?

Here is my proposed experiment:

Gain A College Level Education WITHOUT THE COLLEGE

I have decided to learn mechanical engineering, something I have been interested in but never pursued.  I stopped pursuing science back in high school when I decided to become an artist.  The most advanced course I took was physics, most of which I have forgotten.

RULES:

  1. All knowledge must be gained from websites that are currently available and documented on this blog.
  2. If there is any information that must be purchased, document cost and location of the information.
  3. No personal coaches may be employed.
  4. Any books that will be referenced must be purchased online.
  5. Find a method to test knowledge against that of a student at a local university pursuing degree in mechanical engineering.

Personal Goal:  Begin building components for an Iron Man suit of armor.  Hey, you gotta shoot for the stars.  Even if you miss you can land on Mars.

You guys have any suggestions for how I should improve the experiment?  Leave them in the comments below.