During Summer 2021, five week-long virtual earthquake engineering sessions were offered in the Cal Poly Engineering Possibilities in College (EPIC) summer program. Typically, this is a residential program comprised of faculty-led workshops in various engineering fields to provide pre-college experiences to students, particularly from underrepresented backgrounds. The challenge posed by remote learning, due to the global pandemic, was to continue providing educationally effective hands-on activities. To accomplish this, the instructor team designed, fabricated, and shipped over 120 mail-home engineering kits for students to assemble a shake table, build and retrofit a structural model, as well as collect and analyze data with a low-cost accelerometer. These activities were paired with lectures to help students understand earthquake hazard, seismic design of buildings and instrumentation among other topics. Given the virtual setting, particular attention was given in lectures to provide multiple opportunities and modes that students could engage. Student feedback collected on the last day of each week-long session highlighted students’ high level of interest and enjoyment of the hands-on activities. This earthquake engineering lab piloted in the EPIC program shows one solution to increasing accessibility of outreach activities to students in locations that are geographically remote from EERI regional and student chapters.


Architectural Engineering

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URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/aen_fac/147