Year 2 for Think Up and UCL’s Disaster Relief Design Workshop

At UCL this Autumn for the second time we will be running an engineering design project around the theme of disaster relief. As you might expect, the aim of the project is to give students something out of the ordinary. This project forms one of UCL CEGE Department‘s design ‘Scenarios’ – week-long modules distributed throughout the course in which students work in groups to complete a design activity. In the disaster relief scenario that we are running, students take on the role of a group of civil engineers who have been flown out to Haiti to assist with relief operations 72 hours after the earthquake struck that devastated Port au Prince. In this project, we use a range of techniques to engage the students and to show them how the skills they develop in their course could be put to good use in future.
At one stage in the project, students must respond to information which is drip-fed to them about the situation on the ground. Some of the information is incomplete, some is incorrect. They must use whatever they can find out to put together a strategic plan for providing food, water, shelter and security in a district of Port au Prince.
In this project we are experimenting with giving students their briefing information via the Student Studio website, a learner management system developed by Think Up which encourages students to reflect on their learning using a learning blog at each stage in their project. Last year the blogs revealed to the teaching staff just how much some of the students were engaging with the material in the course. We look forward to reading the students’ reflections this year.