June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.1268.1 - 26.1268.14
Project-Based Learning in the Developing World: Design of a Modular Water Collection and Treatment System Project-based learning can be particularly effective in the field of engineering, in thatstudents can apply what they have learned in the classroom to create a tangible product. Suchexperiences are especially engaging for students when their work is contributing directly to thesolution of a real-world problem. The lack of potable water in the developing world offersnumerous opportunities for such projects. We designed a modular water collection and treatmentsystem that engineering students of multiple disciplines can adapt to a variety of differentlocations where surface water is plentiful, but other sources such as wells and rainwaterharvesting systems are infeasible or inadequate. This system draws water from a lake or riverusing an off-the-shelf turbine-driven river pump, then stores the water in a cistern for latertreatment using a demand-operated slow-sand filter. The system requires no external powerand is modular, enabling students to modify it to meet a variety of different water demandrequirements or site constraints. In addition, it is reasonably low-cost, and can be assembled andmaintained by students and local labor with minimal training. This system can be integrated into a course project or independent study forundergraduate engineering students from multiple disciplines; the students can modify the designfor a specific location and requirement using skills learned in the classroom, then help to build itlater on as a form of project-based or service-learning. Projects such as this are valuable in thatthey pique the interest of engineering students, and enable them to apply skills learned in theclassroom to real-world applications. Bringing such projects through successful construction andcustomer handoff relies upon (1) having a good partnership with a local non-governmentalorganization; (2) including local labor and materials in the construction; and (3) getting supportfrom local leaders on emplacement, operation, and maintenance of the system.
Dacunto, P., & Varriano, V. R., & Ko, J. (2015, June), Project-based Learning in the Developing World: Design of a Modular Water Collection and Treatment System Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24605
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