The Tsunami Shelter Challenge, a (CyberInfrastructure) CI-TEAM demonstration project aimed at low-income, rural schools serving primarily Hispanic and Native American students has been awarded by NSF. The two year project which officially begins in January 2007, takes a new approach in delivering knowledge and inquiry-based learning experiences to a broad and diverse set of constituents, making use of innovative software (modeling and visualization) to engage a diverse audience with exciting, highly interactive materials.
The teachers involved in this project will learn CAD (computer aided design, using IronCAD, computational modeling and visualization techniques along with web page design, and video teleconferencing skills. (Teachers whose computer skills are weak will be given preliminary training in spreadsheets, web searching, and PC operation.) The CAD skills they learn will be broadly applicable to engineering design, middle school math/geometry, and physical and earth sciences. Using their new skills, the teachers will guide students in the design and testing of a tsunami shelter using computational modeling and visualization. Their task will be to design a shelter that will withstand the forces that occurred in the Indian Ocean Tsunami (December 2004) and the storm surge produced by Hurricane Katrina (August 2005). Student teams will be responsible for investigating and designing the shelter, running the simulations, documenting their results, modifying their structure, and repeating the simulation until the shelter is able to withstand both disasters. They will then use web technology to communicate their results to tsunami researchers and other schools.
capstone will be the construction of physical models of the students’ shelters
for testing at the
Intellectual Merit: CI
skills are imperative for tomorrow’s workforce.
One of the most efficient ways increase all students’ CI skills is to enhance
their teachers’ skills. CI is also most
engaging when students can see the applicability of CI skills to their lives
and the lives of the people around them.
Broader Impact: The
project will bring CI skills, experiences, and knowledge to a broad range of
teachers and their students. The
targeted students are from underrepresented ethnic groups and largely rural
of the importance of tsunami and hurricane hazards to people around the