Geotechnical engineering in US elementary schools

Eduardo Suescun-Florez, Magued Iskander, Vikram Kapila, Ryan Cain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper reports on the results of several geotechnical engineering-related science activities conducted with elementary-school students. Activities presented include soil permeability, contact stress, soil stratigraphy, shallow and deep foundations, and erosion in rivers. The permeability activity employed the LEGO NXT platform for data acquisition, the soil profile and foundations activity employed natural and transparent soils as well as LEGO-based foundation models, and the erosion activity utilised a 3D printer to assist with construction of building models. The activities seek to enhance students' academic achievement, excite them about geotechnical engineering, and motivate them to study science and math. Pre- and post-activity evaluations were conducted to assess both the suitability of the activities and the students' learning. Initial results show that students gain a reasonable understanding of engineering principles. Moreover, the geotechnical engineering activities provided students an opportunity to apply their math skills and science knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-315
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Engineering Education
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2013

Fingerprint

Geotechnical engineering
elementary school
Students
engineering
Soils
Erosion
3D printers
Stratigraphy
permeability
student
erosion
Data acquisition
science
Rivers
printer
data acquisition
academic achievement
river
contact

Keywords

  • elementary school
  • geotechnical engineering education
  • LEGO robotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

Geotechnical engineering in US elementary schools. / Suescun-Florez, Eduardo; Iskander, Magued; Kapila, Vikram; Cain, Ryan.

In: European Journal of Engineering Education, Vol. 38, No. 3, 06.2013, p. 300-315.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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