On Friday, September 13, 2019, the Center for STEM hosted our first field trip of the 2019-2020 academic school year! 43 students from Longsjo Middle School in Fitchburg, MA came to Northeastern to learn about Natural Disaster and Hazards.
The students began their day listening and learning about the engineering design process, different types of natural disasters and hazards, and how they occur. They broke off into small groups, each group assigned to one of six hazards, such as extreme heat, hurricanes, etc. Each group was responsible for making an emergency kit and plan on how they would prepare for and react during and after that specific natural disaster. Some good examples of supplies students would want in their emergency kits included axes (to break out of the house if flooded), non-perishables, board games (and other ways to entertain yourself without power), copies of important documents, and flashlights (with extra batteries, or non-battery based flashlights).
After lunch, the seventh grade and eighth grade students broke off into groups, doing one activity then swapping. The first group participated in the Earthquake lab where Ugurcan taught the students about resonant frequency of buildings. They watched a demonstration of the earthquake simulation table and built and tested their own K-NEX earthquake-resistant towers (for the most part – the earthquake always wins though, since we can increase the shaking frequency). After, the students experienced an earthquake themselves by standing on the shake table. The other group preformed an activity with levees, where they were asked to build a portable levee that could be deployed in 30 seconds, similar to the proposed Greenway Flood Wall.
Thank you to all the volunteers, students, and teachers at Longsjo Middle School for making this field trip possible!