Designing the banks along the Newtown Creek
Electromechanical Systems Lab
Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity
Each group of students will design and test their concepts of river banks along the Newtown Creek in Brooklyn.
This activity, which will be concluded as a final project at the end of the semester, is a partnership with Newtown Creek Alliance (NCA), a community-based organization dedicated to restoring, revealing and revitalizing this area in Brooklyn.
Learning Goals: What do you aim to achieve with this activity?
To increase the student engagement and learning I shall use the high-impact educational practice called “Collaborative Assignments and Projects” to facilitate learning and solving problems in the company of others and to encourage students with different cultural backgrounds and life experiences find a common outcome.
Students will become aware of the high potential this area can offer to the community and in the same time accomplishing the implementation of their engineering skills into a real and meaningful application.
The activity application is finding an engineering solution to prevent further erosion of the creek’s banks.
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?
The activity will start on the third week, when a field trip to Newtown Creek is planned to take place. Starting the fourth week, students have to come up with a concept that will culminate with a real and tested design of the river banks in the last week of the semester.
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 field trip is considered a low-stakes activity, where students will be introduced to the culture, vision and challenges NCA is facing.
During the first class meeting, among the usual routine, I will introduce to students the activity rollout:
– third week – field trip
– fourth week – defining the river banks structural form and determining the structural materials to be used
– in the following weeks the groups work on analyzing and testing their chosen design concept by computer simulating the forces at work, such as: gravity, river inertial load, torsional and shear stress, elasticity, strength and strain
– last week – final presentation
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?
To assess students’ learning outcome I am going to use AACU’s rubric called “Intercultural Knowledge and Competence” to determine how effective they were in a variety of cultural contexts.
Students will be exposed to diverse cultural rules, differences and biases with the hope that they can exploit and utilize past experiences to make a better sense of the world around them. use
I will assess the students’ work posted on OpenLab throughout the semester to determine the extent they achieved the learning outcomes set for this course.
The types of assessment are:
– reflections; ask students to write reflections for each phase of the development posted on OpenLab
– formative; assess groups’ performances and against each other
– discussions; the groups will ask each other questions related to their design
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 is planned to be implemented next semester.
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