Suspension Workshop

Suspension Workshop

Alexander Aptekar

Architectural Technology & Library /

LEARNING PLACES: UNDERSTANDING THE CITY

Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity

In this workshop, you will work in teams and groups of teams to create a model suspension bridge. Your model suspension bridge will be tested until structural failure. In reflections, you will individually analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your modeled suspension bridge.

Learning Goals: What do you aim to achieve with this activity?

• Developing your understanding of suspension structures
• Increasing your analysis and problem-solving abilities
• Sharpening your observation and reflection skills
• Deepening your collaborative team techniques

Timing: At what point in the lesson or semester do you use this activity? How much classroom time do you devote to it? How much out-of-class time is expected?

This workshop should occur towards the beginning of the semester as part of the introduction to observation skills and techniques.

Logistics: What preparation is needed for this activity? What instructions do you give students? Is the activity low-stakes, high-stakes, or something else?

Low-stakes

Each team will utilize the following kit of materials:
• Wood blocks (4” x ¾” × ¾”), 18 min
• String, 8’ lengths
• Straws, 14
• Sheets of paper, 3 @ 4” x 17”
• Scissors
• Masking tape, 3’ length
• Tape measure (only one for the workshop required)

Team goals
Construct a model of a suspension bridge utilizing only the materials provided. The bridge must be strong enough to support at least one cell phone at its center. [Recommendation; offer extra points for every additional cell phone the bridge can support]

Team makeup
Each bridge group will consist of two 3 to 4 member teams. Each team is responsible for one half of the bridge spanning from one of the supporting tables to the center of the bridge.

Bridging the gap
Each bridge group will need to span between two tables set 36” apart.

Bridge assembly
The bridge constructed should include the following parts:
• Anchorage (blocks)
• Deck (paper)
• Main cable (string)
• Suspender cables (straws)
• Tower (blocks)

Timing
Your bridge group will have 20 minutes to develop your solution before testing will commence.

Testing
The structural integrity and quality of your bridge will be tested by checking to see how many cell phones the bridge will be able to support. The class will observe as each bridge is tested. Be ready to document where and what are the causes of structural failure. At 20 second intervals, additional cell phones will be added to the Main span of the bridge until the bridge collapses. [It’s recommended that students be ready to catch their cell phones and have their hands under the bridge at least 3 inches away from the bridge deck]

Assessment: How do you assess this activity? What assessment measures do you use? Do you use a VALUE rubric? If not, how did you develop your rubric? Is your course part of the college-wide general education assessment initiative?

Reflections /Documentation
Each team member will need to post on the Open Lab their reflections on this workshop. Be sure to include the following issues in your reflections:
• What strategy did your team used to solve the problem?
• Did you use the iteration process effectively?
• What were the hardest team organization challenges?
• What are the hardest technical challenges?
• What part of the bridge did you think would collapse first?
• What part did collapse first and why?
• Include at least two photographs, sketches or diagrams in your reflection.

Assessment
This assignment will be evaluated by reviewing your reflections on the Open Lab. The focus of this evaluation will be the lessons learned in this workshop. Additional points will be given for each cell phone your groups bridge could support.

Reflection: How well did this activity work in your classroom? Would you repeat it? Why or why not? What challenges did you encounter, and how did you address them? What, if anything, would you change? What did students seem to enjoy about the activity?

Following are some quotes from student reflections on this project. Additional reflections can be seen at this site:

https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/aptekar-berger2205sp2017/assignments/216-reflection-on-suspension-bridgeobservation-sketch/

“Today’s class project was very challenging and hands on. It is something I enjoyed doing because my team worked well together to create a steady bridge. Although, it took some time to figure out how to actually build a proper bridge was kind of difficult considering I know nothing about architecture or building. My team mates worked together from putting straws together to taking down blocks to the table. Overall, we learned that the anchorage is the most important part which is something our bridge lacked. Now we know for next time what to spend more money on.”
Alexandra Linik

“…

3. I learnt that the cabling is as important as the others structures as well. Since it is suspension bridge, both the weight of the deck and the live loads will be hung by the suspenders. So the connection between the horizontal cable and vertical cables should be strong enough to hold all the weights. And the angle of the cable from the anchorage should be calculated in order to reduce the extra forces.

4. Lastly, I think we can design our towers of the bridge more pretty, because I learnt that putting weights on the towers do not help in order to stabilize the bridge.”
Alice Myint

“In today’s class the most interesting and challenging part was to make a suspension bridge using small wood blocks, ribbon, tape, paper and our creative mind of course. I got to know some of my classmates whom I have worked with throughout the project. I think architectural stuffs sounds like easy, but it’s really not and the worst experience was when we made the bridge and it’s collapsed twice. But we did not lose hopes and we made a well -organized and furnished bridge with beautiful two anchorages and deck. The “deck” should be strong because the weight on the bridge is related on the base and it’s connected to the deck of both sides of the bridge. We put 4 phones on the bridge and it was still in the same position, but however it collapsed when 5th phone added on the bridge. But in the class we had much fun when working with as a group. We were very excited to see how others work done and that was the coolest part because we can learn something how they made their own. Overall, it was very cool, making a bridge with elementary stuffs and a great experience to work with my classmates.”
Mdzafar Sadak

“The class project that we have was pretty intresting because we get to work together as we form two group. One group was to build one half of the bridge and the other group would do the other half of it. The challageing part was trying to combine the bridge and form a deck that could support the weight. We through that it would help but as it turn out after we finish building it and testing it that it wasn’t the deck that we create can support the weight it was the anchor was the most important part of it that would have support the weight of it. The thing that i learn most was no matter what type of bridge that people make if the anchor is not strong enough then the whole bridge would fall.”
Alan Qiu

Additional Information: Please share any additional comments and further documentation of the activity – e.g. assignment instructions, rubrics, examples of student work, etc. These can be links to pages or posts on the OpenLab.

I welcome comments and suggestions. I am be happy to provide you with more documentation including diagrams and photographs for this workshop. Don’t hesitate to reach out by email.

Please share a helpful link to a pages or post on the OpenLab

What Is True/What Is Fake? Journalism Today

What Is True/What Is Fake? Journalism Today

Aaron Barlow

English/Arts & Sciences

Introduction to Journalism

Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity

Relation of a story by the professor about an encounter with an elephant (though it can be any story relevant to the instructor’s life that can be verified to some degree, at least, through research). The students are then asked to determine what truth there is in the story, if any, and to justify their conclusions. After the first class, the students are asked to search diligently across the internet for proof/dismissal of the professor’s claims. At the end of the discussion, students vote on the truth (or lack of it) of the story. If they ask the professor to tell them if the vote is correct or not, the response should be a shrug and the comment, “The question is, can you trust me?” This generally leaves the students baffled for a moment but, as the course moves on to other considerations, they generally start to understand.

Learning Goals: What do you aim to achieve with this activity?

Students are expected to come away with an understanding of the limits of classroom authority and of research itself.

Timing: At what point in the lesson or semester do you use this activity? How much classroom time do you devote to it? How much out-of-class time is expected?

This exercise is best done early in the semester. It generally takes a full class period plus a couple of homework hours and then about half an hour of the next class.

Logistics: What preparation is needed for this activity? What instructions do you give students? Is the activity low-stakes, high-stakes, or something else?

The professor needs to prepare relation of the story carefully, including within it enough clues for the students to be able to research the claims made. Students need to be taking notes while the professor talks and need to understand the use that will be made of those notes in the homework assignment. Before beginning to tell the tale, the instructor needs to carefully prepare the students.

Assessment: How do you assess this activity? What assessment measures do you use? Do you use a VALUE rubric? If not, how did you develop your rubric? Is your course part of the college-wide general education assessment initiative?

Because of the nature of this activity, which lies outside of assessment structures and can be harmed by them, this is not assessed.

Reflection: How well did this activity work in your classroom? Would you repeat it? Why or why not? What challenges did you encounter, and how did you address them? What, if anything, would you change? What did students seem to enjoy about the activity?

I have been using and developing this exercise for a decade and in a number of different classes and will continue to do so. It helps students understand the differing reactions, in terms of truth value, to different speakers in different positions. Plus, it introduces them to research tasks of a sort they generally have not encountered in other classes.

Additional Information: Please share any additional comments and further documentation of the activity – e.g. assignment instructions, rubrics, examples of student work, etc. These can be links to pages or posts on the OpenLab.

As part of a book I edited, I include the story I use for this exercise: https://www.academia.edu/888435/Elephant_Morning. When I relate it, I tell it differently, making sure to include dates, places and verifiable events as a basis for student research. The structure of the essay itself comes out, in part, from earlier uses of this exercise–but it also contains its own inaccuracies, liberties taken for the sake of the story. Every instructor has a tale or her or his own that can be used similarly.

Please share a helpful link to a pages or post on the OpenLab

Restaurant Manager’s Operational Challenge

Restaurant Manager’s Operational Challenge

Rosa Abreu

Hospitality Management

Restaurant Management

Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity

This is part of a scaffold assignment that incorporates a number of discipline specific to Student Learning Outcomes. This portion, a case study, focused on the Student Learning Outcomes of Ethical Reasoning.

The case study is design to place senior students in an operational challenge with the restaurant staff.

Learning Goals: What do you aim to achieve with this activity?

The larger outcome will be for students to evaluate the overall impact of the case study to the industry.

Here students will be assessed with the Rubric of Ethical Reasoning, Communication, discipline specific.

Timing: At what point in the lesson or semester do you use this activity? How much classroom time do you devote to it? How much out-of-class time is expected?

When in the semester, this case study is in relation to the larger project, the groups will have 25 minutes to complete.

Logistics: What preparation is needed for this activity? What instructions do you give students? Is the activity low-stakes, high-stakes, or something else?

The preparation will be, reading the scenario and background of the case. Students will be place in a small groups and they are to write solutions to the case study. This activity will be consider low stakes.

Assessment: How do you assess this activity? What assessment measures do you use? Do you use a VALUE rubric? If not, how did you develop your rubric? Is your course part of the college-wide general education assessment initiative?

I will use the Ethical Reasoning Rubric

Reflection: How well did this activity work in your classroom? Would you repeat it? Why or why not? What challenges did you encounter, and how did you address them? What, if anything, would you change? What did students seem to enjoy about the activity?

This activity will be implemented in Fall 2017

Additional Information: Please share any additional comments and further documentation of the activity – e.g. assignment instructions, rubrics, examples of student work, etc. These can be links to pages or posts on the OpenLab.

Please share a helpful link to a pages or post on the OpenLab

Editorial Illustration Part 1 – Project Research

Editorial Illustration Part 1 – Project Research

Sara Woolley Gómez

Communication Design

Illustration 1

Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity

This activity is the introductory assignment of a scaffolded project, in which students create an Editorial Illustration for use to accompany an article in a magazine, printed or online. The project is broken into stages with peer critique and feedback given at each stage, spanning 4 weeks in total.

Part 1 Editorial Illustration Research:

1- Open with a Collaborative Learning Activity:

Rapid Fire Discussion: What do we care about?

There is a sterotype that young people are unaware or unconcerned with social issues and current events.
• Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
• Are there issues or events which you are particularly passionate about?

5 minute Brain Dump:
• In teams, grab a piece of chalk and fill the black board with a brainstorm of every issue you care about.
• If another student’s answer sparks an idea, draw a line to link the ideas.
• There are no wrong answers, but be sure to read before you write! No doubles allowed!

End with a 5 minute Reflection

2- IN-CLASS ASSIGNMENT : Editorial Illustration Research

Research: Find an article from a legitimate news source, online or printed, about a topic which you are passionate about or find particularly interesting, as source material for your editorial illustration. Carefully read and analyze those articles.

Brainstorm: Using the Word Stack method taught in an earlier assignment, students will write down all of the key words they can think of relating to the article. They then build out from those key word forming stacks, and make bridges between any concepts that they find related. For example, by theme, color, shape, etc. This part is entirely personal and represents part of their unique artistic lens.

Write: Students author a blog post on open lab in response to the article. Key stakeholders are identified. Who does this issue matter to and why? Students share the article as well as their brainstorm with their peers.

Discuss: Students prepare a brief presentation of their chosen article and brainstorm.

Presentation: Students present their findings to their peers, showing all related materials through the open lab. 3 minutes per student with an additional 2 minute Q&A.

Learning Goals: What do you aim to achieve with this activity?

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOME
Students discuss / analyze core beliefs and the origins of the core belief.
Analyze content and evaluate evidence
Apply critical thinking skills to make creative inferences
Evaluate different ethical perspectives and concepts
Respect and Use Creativity

Timing: At what point in the lesson or semester do you use this activity? How much classroom time do you devote to it? How much out-of-class time is expected?

This activity is the introductory assignment of a 4 part scaffolded project, Editorial Illustration. We begin this month long project midway through the semester. It builds upon knowledge gained from two preceding projects, such as illustration professional practices, the revision process, technical skills, and concept development techniques. It also uses a place based learning experience at the New York Society of Illustrators annual show, as a springboard for the assignment.

This activity, project research is an in class activity and purposely designed so to allow opportunity for collaborative learning. It will take the full class session (3 hours) to complete. Students are expected to continue the assignment outside of class during the next three parts of the assignment leading to the final illustration and work process presentation.

Logistics: What preparation is needed for this activity? What instructions do you give students? Is the activity low-stakes, high-stakes, or something else?

This activity does not require a great deal of preparation. As previously noted, the art form of Editorial Illustration is previously introduced through a place based learning experience at the New York Society of Illustrators. Students are not asked to come in with any concept of what they would like to work on. Instead they are to identify issues the care passionately about through collaborative learning with their peers. This also allows them to recognize and discuss multiple perspectives. Then they are to inform their opinions through thorough research. Then finally to present the issue to the class, expressing their views on it, and showing their research and an accompanying brainstorm.

This is a low stakes activity. It in an of itself is not graded, however it contributes to the process development of a high stakes project.

Students are given the following evaluation criteria:

Overall quality of your presentation to the class.
Clarity while explaining the topic you’ve chosen and it's significance.
Quality and depth of the Brainstorm created based on the topic.

• Identify the key stakeholders in the issue.
• Describe your perspective on the issue.
• Describe how different ethical perspectives might be applied.
• Explain your brainstorm, and share any creative insights or inferences it may have sparked.

Assessment: How do you assess this activity? What assessment measures do you use? Do you use a VALUE rubric? If not, how did you develop your rubric? Is your course part of the college-wide general education assessment initiative?

This activity uses a VALUE rubric to access the following learning outcomes:

Self Reflect and Identify personal values and ethics
Analyze content and evaluate evidence
Apply critical thinking skills to make creative inferences
Discern multiple perspectives

In addition I access the following outcomes using the same 4 tiered rating system:

Respect and Use of Creativity.
Overall quality and professionalism of presentation.

Reflection: How well did this activity work in your classroom? Would you repeat it? Why or why not? What challenges did you encounter, and how did you address them? What, if anything, would you change? What did students seem to enjoy about the activity?

This activity description represents a revision of a current assignment in order to improve upon it. Currently students are coming into class after having researched and chosen a topic on their own.

This new structured in class version allows students to learn collaboratively, and to discern multiple perspectives through evaluating the work of their peers.

Students in the current version of the assignment seem to greatly enjoy presenting the issue and their views on it as well as creative work to their peers.

One challenge I encountered was identifying the difference between a legitimate or false news source. At first I dealt with this on an individual basis, but once it had come up for discussion a second time I stopped the class to discuss the difference as a group, leading them to come up with a set of parameters.

In the future I'd structure in the same discussion and provide some better examples.

Additional Information: Please share any additional comments and further documentation of the activity – e.g. assignment instructions, rubrics, examples of student work, etc. These can be links to pages or posts on the OpenLab.

Assignment Instructions:

Editorial Illustration (4 part project)

Overall Project Description:

Create an Editorial Illustration for use to accompany an article in a magazine, printed or online. This project is broken into stages with peer critique and critical feedback given at each stage, spanning 4 weeks in total.

The final illustration must be created using a limited palate of black, white, and one other color and should be made using a combination of traditional drawing / inking skills and digital coloring. Final art should be made to fit the real magazine’s specs. (Approx 9” x12”)

Final work will be judged on the clarity and cleverness of the overall concept, thoughtful utilization of composition, the use of value, and of course the skillfulness of overall technique.
_______________________________________________________

Part 1 of 4

Rapid Fire Discussion: What do we care about?

There is a sterotype that young people are unaware or unconcerned with social issues and current events.
• Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
• Are there issues or events which you are particularly passionate about?

5 minute Brain Dump:
• In teams, grab a piece of chalk and fill the black board with a brainstorm of every issue you care about.
• If another student’s answer sparks an idea, draw a line to link the ideas.
• There are no wrong answers, but be sure to read before you write! No doubles allowed!

IN-CLASS ASSIGNMENT : Editorial Illustration Research

Research: Find an article from a legitimate news source, online or printed, about a topic which you are passionate about or find particularly interesting, as source material for your editorial illustration. Carefully read and analyze those articles.

Brainstorm: Using the Word Stack method we’ve used for earlier assignments, write down all of the key words you can think of related to the article. Be sure to include the actions – what is happening, not just who, what, or where.

Write: A blog post on open lab in response to the article. Identify the key stakeholders. Who does this matter to and why? Highlight particular areas of interest to you. Share the article as well as your brainstorm and any images you may consider using in the future as reference material.

Discuss: Prepare a brief presentation of your chosen article and brainstorm.

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOME
Students discuss / analyze core beliefs and the origins of the core belief.
Analyze content and evaluate evidence
Apply critical thinking skills to make creative inferences
Evaluate different ethical perspectives and concepts
Respect and Use Creativity

PURPOSE
Identify personal values and understand how passion to fuels your work.
Listen to the values and consider the perspectives of others.
Understand ethical perspectives.

EVALUATION CRITERIA
Overall quality of your presentation to the class.
Clarity while explaining the topic you’ve chosen and it's significance.
Quality and depth of the Brainstorm created based on the topic.

• Identify the key stakeholders in the issue.
• Describe your perspective on the issue.
• Describe how different ethical perspectives might be applied.
• Explain your brainstorm, and share any creative insights or inferences it may have sparked.

Please share a helpful link to a pages or post on the OpenLab

Editorial Illustration – Process Book Examples