Educational Lab - Big Machine
Date du début: 1 sept. 2016,
Date de fin: 31 août 2019
Civil Engineering is a field that is proving to be particularly sensitive to the dynamics of the labour market. It has become noticeably less popular in countries such as Portugal, Greece, Croatia (and other European Countries) where employment levels for Civil Engineers have dropped significantly. This is a very problematic context as Civil Engineering is present in everyday life and is indeed a requisite for sustaining life as we have become used to understand it: buildings, roads, traffic, city planning, construction materials, hydraulics, etc.It is believed that in this context, universities have an important role to play, reaching out to the community. It is very important to encourage secondary school students (the main target in this proposal), their parents and teachers to visit higher education institutions and their laboratories, supporting schools efforts to tackle early school leaving (ESL) and disadvantage as well as to address all students from the lowest to the highest end of the academic spectrum. The fulfillment of this role requires the University to develop strategies to invite the community to learn about its activities and goals and opening campus facilities to interested visitors. To make these facilities more attractive it is important to reflect on the most appropriate communication strategies and prepare the necessary materials – experiences with the participation of visitors, videos, interactive constructions, written materials, virtual reality models, etc. This project aims to develop an “educational laboratory” that can be deployed in different countries and in different environments, both inside and outside the participant universities' facilitiesThis “educational laboratory”, built in partnership in three universities can be adapted or replicated in other countries and institutions. This project include interactive equipments, and digital platforms (BIM and QR code format). The laboratory should foster the development of pedagogical strategies and general teaching knowhow, and the sharing of teamwork experiences. This project can be extended to other interested parties, in different countries with different construction techniques and needs regarding local climatic conditions (building solutions cannot be simply replicated across geographical borders regardless of climatic contexts), traditional techniques (each country has a specific culture and history in terms of techniques usually used in constructions) and available resources. Costs and legislation are also very specific and must be considered in the project. These differences will be crucial to show results under different existing conditions and to assess the importance of adapting approaches to each local environment. Different configurations for learning materials and approaches will be tested, leading to a virtual information repository that can be accessed by any student regardless of his/her location, allowing results to be compared, different scenarios to be tested and even different local prototypes to be visited and understood, underlining the requirement to adapt engineering solutions to local needs.Taking "hands-on" experiences and the digital platforms like BIM and QR codes will be an innovative way of transmit the different roles of Civil Engineering in a closer language to the youngsters, supporting schools in their efforts to guide secondary students' interests and decisions regarding higher education.
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