Education & Community Outreach

 

2016


  • A group of Learning Assistants (LAs) has been hired from a broad group of diverse students. Two LAs acted as critical change agents by facilitating active learning as well as critical students’ feed-back in active learning class ‘Hurricane Engineering and Global Sustainability.’

    In addition, another group of LAs took Engineers on Wheels van to schools to engage K-12 students in grade-appropriate, interactive wind effect lessons, reflecting EF-enabled wind mitigation innovations. In the first visit to schools, the students were introduced to the NHERI WOW EF via an interactive PowerPoint presentation. The students actively participated while they were being taught the basics of hurricanes and wind engineering. They were also shown videos of tests that are done at the Wall of Wind, as well as the effect of wind on different types of structures. During the second visit, a small-scale wind tunnel was brought to the schools and different house models were tested. The house models were tested to record the wind’s velocity necessary to lift-up the roof (hinges on one side of the roof only). The LAs presented and discussed with the students how and why the wind affects each structure in different ways, as well as the causes of failing. In total, the Engineers on Wheels visited 5 schools during the reported period.

Active Learning Class – Student Groups Solving Real World Hurricane Engineering Problems by Working in Teams and Getting Support from LAs

Presentation to school class and small-scale wind tunnel that was used in Engineers on Wheels ECO Program

  • NHERI WOW EF exhibit was displayed at the Museum of Discovery & Science (MODS), located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on June 1, 2016. The exhibit experience illustrates the effects of wind on different roof shapes, teaches the science of wind engineering, and shows the importance of mitigating your home. In addition, a video screen shows examples of wind testing by the real Wall of Wind and wall display panels highlighting the successes of the research facility. Over 2,600 attended the grand opening event which also coincided with the “Eye of the Storm” community outreach event.

NHERI WOW EF exhibit at the Museum of Discovery & Science (MODS)

  • STEM Education workshop in August: The Miami PREP program has been running for about 15 years. Elementary to high school students spend five weeks of their summer engaged with the College of Engineering and Computing at FIU. There is a new feature of hands-on lab rotations in the Miami-Prep program. Dr. Chowdhury conducted a NHERI WOW EF tour and did a presentation of NHERI WOW EF research to the students involved in the Miami-Prep program for summer of 2016.

STEM Education workshop at NHERI WOW EF

  • The FIU Engineering Expo is the college’s premier community outreach event organized annually and welcoming more than 1,400 K-12 students from Miami Dade and Broward County Schools (elementary, middle and high schools) to the FIU Engineering Center to engage FIU students, researchers and staff, and to discover the endless possibilities of STEM. During the 2017 FIU Engineering Expo that was held on February 24 2017, several tours to the NHERI WOW EF were organized and hundreds of students had the chance to learn about the NHERI WOW EF activities and capabilities.

2017 FIU Engineering Expo student tour at NHERI WOW EF

 

2017


  • A group of three Learning Assistants (LAs) has been hired from a broad group of diverse students. The LAs are acting as critical change agents by facilitating active learning as well as critical students’ feed-back in active learning class ‘Hurricane Engineering and Global Sustainability’ for Fall 2017. A large number of undergraduate students (75) took this class for Fall 2017. The active learning classes, comprising of several small group of students working in team, are shown in the figure below. PI Chowdhury is continuously working with Education Research Specialist Dr. Remy Dou and the LAs to upgrade the classroom activities to enhance Active Learning outcomes. Dr. Dou has collected student survey results and is analyzing the same to facilitate publications.

    In addition, another group of LAs took Engineers on Wheels van to schools to engage K-12 students in grade-appropriate, interactive wind effect lessons, reflecting EF-enabled wind mitigation innovations. In the first visit to schools, the students were introduced to the NHERI WOW EF via an interactive PowerPoint presentation. The students actively participated while they were being taught the basics of hurricanes and wind engineering. They were also shown videos of tests that are done at the Wall of Wind, as well as the effect of wind on different types of structures. During the second visit, a small-scale wind tunnel was brought to the schools and different house models were tested. The house models were tested to record the wind’s velocity necessary to lift-up the roof (hinges on one side of the roof only). The LAs presented and discussed with the students how and why the wind affects each structure in different ways, as well as the causes of failing. In total, the Engineers on Wheels visited 6 schools and worked with 350 students from 5th to 8th grade during the reported period.

Active Learning Class – Student Groups Solving Real World Hurricane Engineering Problems by Working in Teams and Getting Support from Undergraduate LAs

Small-scale wind tunnel that was used in Engineers on Wheels ECO Program. Left: Dr. Rolando Espinosa K-8 Center (05/17/2017) STEM Club 5th – 7th Grade. Right: St Hugh Catholic School (05/30/2017) 6th – 7 Grade

  • NHERI WOW EF exhibit was displayed at the Museum of Discovery & Science (MODS), located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on April 22, 2017. The exhibit experience illustrates the effects of wind on different roof shapes, teaches the science of wind engineering, and shows the importance of mitigating your home. In addition, a design challenge was facilitated which included the construction of a building tower using paper and tape. The tower was tested using a portable fan to see if it will stand strong. Several pre-k and elementary students attended the event and were introduced to fundamental principles of wind-structure interaction.

NHERI WOW EF exhibit at the Museum of Discovery & Science (MODS)

  • NOAA-NHC Hurricane Hunter Awareness Tour - Friday, May 12th, 2017 - Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport (OPF): During summer vacations EOW have expanded its limits to reach a larger and more diverse audience participating in extracurricular program and activities, as well as summer camps opportunities. Additionally, other learning activity has been incorporate to our program; it is called Windy City Tower, which consist in making a paper tower that can withstand as much wind as possible, without sliding or toppling over. Children can use a minimum of 4 sheets of paper and tape to make a tower that will stay in place at least 20 seconds with as much wind blowing on it as possible, with the following constraints: It must be at least 14" above the ground, it must hold a metal washer in its top, and it is free standing (not taped or attached to the testing surface).
  • Eye of the Storm Hurricane Education Day - Saturday, May 20th, 2017 – Museum of Discovery & Science (MODS) – Fort Lauderdale.
  • Women in Engineering workshop on Saturday, June 3, 2017: for Female high school students from 8:30 a.m. to noon. The free event was funded in-part by a grant from MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation. The event included a screening of DREAM BIG 3D: Engineering Our World, presentation from special guest Menzer Pehlivan, a geotechnical engineer featured in Dream Big, and local engineers from the American Society of Civil Engineers, followed by Engineers On Wheel-WOW hands-on Windy City Tower Activity.
  • Students participated in AP Summer Institute/Summer Camp at FIU.

Summer Camp

 

2018


  • Again, the NHERI WOW EF exhibit was displayed at the Museum of Discovery & Science (MODS), located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (http://www.mods.org/home.html) in February of 2018. The exhibit experience illustrates the effects of wind on different roof shapes, teaches the science of wind engineering, and shows the importance of mitigating your home. In addition, a design challenge was facilitated which included the construction of a building tower using paper and tape. The tower was tested using a portable fan to see if it will stand strong. Several pre-k and elementary students attended the event and were introduced to fundamental principles of wind-structure interaction.
  • Three different public-school groups visited the WOW facilities during this time period. Students took a tour of the engineering campus, learning about the work of hurricane engineers through an interactive, media-rich lesson, received facility-safety training at the WOW, and were giving the opportunity to explore the WOW facility up-close. Dr. Remy Dou and a group of LAs helped to facilitate these visits, providing teachers with relevant curriculum to integrate into lessons prior to student visits.
  • The FIU Engineering Expo is the college’s premier community outreach event organized annually. This year we welcomed more than 1,500 K-12 students from Miami Dade and Broward County Schools (elementary, middle and high schools) to the FIU Engineering Center to engage FIU students, researchers and staff, and to discover the endless possibilities of STEM. During the 2018 FIU Engineering Expo that was held on February 23 2018, several tours to the NHERI WOW EF were organized and hundreds of students had the chance to learn about the NHERI WOW EF activities and capabilities.

Student-visit to WOW facilities.

Students visiting WOW during the Engineering Expo 2018.