Making Waves in the Classroom – Engaging students in STEM through hands-on coastal oceanography and engineering
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Making Waves in the Classroom – Engaging students in STEM through hands-on coastal oceanography and engineering

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  • Journal Title:
    Continental Shelf Research
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  • Description:
    A high school Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program was initiated to engage students in coastal processes and engineering concepts. Fourteen portable wave flumes were designed, fabricated, and delivered to high schools along the East Coast of the United States from New Jersey to Florida. The ∼5 m long flume consists of a motor-controlled wave paddle at one end and a sediment-surrogate beach at the other end for hands-on activities for coastal dynamics. Sensors for measuring water level and fluid velocity and education modules ranging from basic wave concepts to applications such as beach nourishment are provided to teachers to assist in education delivery. Pre- and post-module worksheets and overall program surveys are used as assessment instruments to gauge effectiveness of the program. The student and teacher assessment results indicate that the portable wave flumes and associated modules were successful in helping students understand coastal processes in an engaging and hands-on manner. All teachers surveyed indicated that they plan to use the flume again. Modifications in the future may include creating lesson plans with more open-ended questions to encourage student exploration, decreasing the apparatus footprint, and using an actuator-controlled wave paddle for irregular wave forcing.
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    Continental Shelf Research, 245, 104793
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    Accepted Manuscript
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