Education

Oral

397275 - Integrating Technology and Environmental Engineering Education

Monday, June 4
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Skyway Room
Co-Authors: Jessica Wilson, Civil and Environmental Engineering Dept – Environmental Engineering Department; Kerryanne Donohue, Civil and Environmental Engineering Dept – Environmental Engineering Dept

Diverse approaches to teaching (e.g., use of technology, flipped classroom, hands-on experiences) have been shown to improve student learning in STEM fields. Experiential experiences for students typically result in higher rates of retention and understanding. However, there are significant challenges to creating a sustainable system that incorporates these diverse approaches. In this work, we provide an approach to developing a diverse learning program which increased ecological literacy for middle and high school students. This model increased student learning about their local estuary, but can be applied to other environmental engineering disciplines. We incorporated technology (downloading water quality data on smart devices) and hands on experiences (collection of in-field water quality data) to connect students to their local estuary. In a pre-field trip classroom activity students are given samples of water high in turbidity, salinity and pH, and low in dissolved oxygen. They test these parameters using hand-held probes that connect via bluetooth to smart devices. The samples are then manipulated and students see how different environmental conditions have affected the water parameters. Next, the students are brought to a wetland that has continuously recording water probes measuring water level, saline, and dissolved oxygen. They view this data and again use the hand held probes to compare data obtained. Students are surveyed both pre and post-field trip about their estuary knowledge. Results show a significant increase in knowledge of estuary parameters when compared to the initial pre-trip survey. A student lead lessons-learned workshop is planned to bring together 5 schools who participated in the program to foster learning through each other about their estuary through technology. A template for developing this type of program will be discussed.

Kerryanne Donohue

Instructor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Manhattan College Civil Engineering Department

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Timothy Conway

Graduate Student Research Assistant
Manhattan College Civil and Environmental Engineering Department

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Send Email for Jessica Wilson


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