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The Sooner City Project: A 5 Year Update

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Curricular Change Issues

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1168.1 - 8.1168.15



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Paper Authors

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K Muraleetharan

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Gerald Miller

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Dee Fink

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Robert Knox

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Randall Kolar

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David Sabatini

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Baxter Vieux

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Michael Mooney

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Carolyn Ahern

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Kurt Gramoll

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2630

The Sooner City Project: A 5-Year Update

C. C. Ahern, L. D. Fink, K. K. Muraleetharan, R. L. Kolar

University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019


The Sooner City project at the University of Oklahoma (OU) seeks to reform the traditional civil engineering curriculum by including design projects at every level of the curriculum, not simply as a senior capstone project. The project can be implemented without changing the traditional course sequencing, which enhances faculty buy-in. It is part of a larger movement to reform engineering education by teaching students to: contribute in a dynamic, team-oriented professional environment, use advanced critical thinking skills, use computers proficiently, and communicate effectively to other engineers and to the public. Sooner City is in its 5th year at the OU School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science (CEES). Five CEES classes per semester, freshman through senior, have incorporated design projects for a virtual city. Projects have ranged from concrete footings for virtual office buildings to floodplain analysis and bridge crossing design. This paper presents key results from two important tools used to evaluate the success of the Sooner City project: questionnaires completed every semester by students in Sooner City courses, and interviews of the professors of those courses. Responses indicate that the project is realizing stated objectives.

1. Overview of the Project

1.1 Background

The Sooner City project, supported by NSF (Action Agenda, NSF EEC 9872505), seeks to reform the traditional civil engineering curriculum by threading a comprehensive, integrated, infrastructure design project across the curriculum, beginning in the freshman year. Basically, freshmen are given a plat of undeveloped or partially developed land that, by the time they graduate, is turned into a blueprint for Sooner City's infrastructure19. Among other things, the project promotes five outcomes not fully addressed by traditional curricula, but which are emphasized by the NSF Engineering Education Coalitions and ABET 2000: team building, communication, leadership, design, and higher level learning skills.

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition. Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education.”

Muraleetharan, K., & Miller, G., & Fink, D., & Knox, R., & Kolar, R., & Sabatini, D., & Vieux, B., & Mooney, M., & Ahern, C., & Gramoll, K. (2003, June), The Sooner City Project: A 5 Year Update Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12687

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