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Web Quests As An Integrative Experience In Introductory Environmental Engineering

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.1153.1 - 6.1153.11

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Mary Cardenas

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

Session 3551

WebQuests as an Integrative Experience in Introductory Environmental Engineering Mary Cardenas Harvey Mudd College Claremont, California


An Integrative Experience was developed as part of an introductory environmental engineering course at Harvey Mudd College. The Integrative Experience was developed to help the college students consider the relationship of science and technology with contemporary society. Junior and senior students enrolled in the course designed WebQuests for middle school students. The WebQuests involved the integration of an environmental issue, problem, or technology and societal effects. WebQuests were designed for a middle school audience in order to expand the amount of engineering outreach that is done at the K-12 level. The HMC students chose WebQuests topics including nuclear and alternative energy; the Los Angeles aqueduct; farming practices and conservation; a cyanide spill in Romania; deforestation; air pollution; and energy conservation and planning. The WebQuests were tested by middle school students in Fontana, California to determine their usefulness in introducing engineering to middle-school students, and feedback was received.

I. Introduction

Harvey Mudd College students are required to take an Integrative Experience (IE) in order to satisfy graduation requirements. Harvey Mudd College is an ABET-accredited liberal arts college of engineering and science, and the engineering program at Harvey Mudd College is a general program. An IE is defined by the curriculum committee at HMC as a course that includes consideration of one or more issues involving the relationship of science or technology with contemporary society.

ABET criteria state that engineering programs in the United States must demonstrate that their graduates have the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global/societal context, and knowledge of contemporary issues1. Some institutions have been satisfying science, technology and society (STS) education by offering separate, specific courses. These courses include sophomore- and junior-level STS courses2-3 where the students study the historical development of technology and society, and write reports and essays on STS topics. At the Colorado School of Mines, the students in the Guy T. McBride, Jr. Honors Program in Public Affairs for Engineers take seven semesters of interdisciplinary seminars examining society and technology4. At Arizona State University, Guilbeau and Pizzicani developed a bioengineering course to satisfy the ABET criteria on society and technology5. At ASU, case studies, creative controversy, group position papers and oral debate were used to study bioengineering as it relates to society.

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Cardenas, M. (2001, June), Web Quests As An Integrative Experience In Introductory Environmental Engineering Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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