JFK School – STEM Field Trip (’18-’19)

Today, 5/28, we had a field trip of 5th grade students from the JFK school come to Northeastern for a day on Engineering and Natural Hazards/Disasters. The day started with a quick Do Now on how the students have reacted to/prepared for natural hazards they’ve been in (or if they’ve never been in one, how they would react/prepare), then students learned about Engineering and the Design process and the difference between Natural Hazards and Natural Disasters. Groups were assigned one of the following six hazards and had to design both a safety plan and an emergency kit specific to that hazard.

Examples of supplies for the emergency kits included flashlights and extra batteries, pet food, board games, and a printed map of the Boston Evacuation Routes as well as a list of closest evacuation shelters, one of which is actually the JFK school.

Next, students designed a rapidly deploy-able levee, based on the real-world Greenway Flood Wall, which will be built in East Boston to combat flooding. Students had 30 seconds to deploy their levees, at which point water started flooding in and we timed the amount of time it took to “drown” the people (paper drawings). The best design lasted 40 seconds, whilst the remaining designs all lasted 18-21 seconds.

The day wrapped up with a visit to the Northeastern CEE Earthquake Shake Table, where the students learned about how Earthquakes affect buildings (resonance) and were able to experience (stand on the shake table) simulated Earthquakes.

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