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A Scavenger Hunt Activity to Welcome First-year Students to the Civil Engineering Department

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Active and Out There: Labs and Active Learning

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Anne Dudek Ronan P.E. New York University

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Anne Dudek Ronan, Ph.D., P.E., is an Industry Professor in the Department of Civil and Urban Engineering at NYU. Although her main area of interest is Water Resources Engineering, she teaches across the curriculum – from the freshman Introduction to Civil Engineering course to graduate classes in Groundwater Hydrology and Surface Water Pollution. She also advises PhD and Masters degree students and is faculty adviser for two student clubs. Previously, Anne was an Adjunct Professor at The Cooper Union and Assistant Professor at San Jose State University. She has won several teaching awards for her passion for undergraduate and graduate education.

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First-year students at the author’s university are required to take an Introduction to Civil Engineering class during either fall or spring semester. Although the class is taught by two civil engineering faculty, the students do not feel a sense of belonging in the department because all of their other classes are offered by other departments. One class activity meant to foster connectedness with the department is a “Scavenger Hunt” that requires the students to visit the department offices to answer a series of questions. While answering these questions, they are directed to find the CE student lounge, the CE computer lab and other study areas, faculty offices and mailboxes, and club bulletin boards. They are also required to introduce themselves to one undergraduate student and one faculty member and ask them a few questions. This activity is well-received by both students and faculty, and lowers the inhibitions that freshmen feel about entering the department offices and beginning to become involved department activities.

Ronan, A. D. (2019, June), A Scavenger Hunt Activity to Welcome First-year Students to the Civil Engineering Department Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--31990

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