Location

Arlington, Virginia

Session Start Date

8-11-2008

Session End Date

8-16-2008

Abstract

Case histories are invaluable components of civil engineering education in general and geotechnical engineering education in particular. They provide real world context for engineering methodologies studied in class, and serve as vehicles for discussing ancillary issues related to cost, communication, logistics, and many other factors. As commonly used in university courses, however, students encounter case histories as observers, and often on a fairly superficial level. Learning of concepts and methods, on the other hand, best takes place through active learning rather than through passive observation. To maximize their effectiveness as teaching tools, many case histories can be cast in a form that makes them suitable for active, hand-on learning. This paper gives an example of a case study teaching unit developed for an undergraduate geotechnical engineering course at Virginia Tech. The example explains how operations of the Hershey Chocolate corporation in Hershey PA were impacted by groundwater pumping from an underground mine about one and a half miles from the Hershey plant. In-line questions invite students to explore the case study. The learning objectives are centered on understanding interactions of geology, groundwater and anthropogenic influences, and are aimed at Achieving gaining understanding at a deep level.

Department(s)

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Appears In

International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering

Meeting Name

Sixth Conference

Publisher

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

8-11-2008

Document Version

Final Version

Rights

© 2008 Missouri University of Science and Technology, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

File Type

text

Language

English

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Aug 11th, 12:00 AM Aug 16th, 12:00 AM

Exploring Case Histories: Chocolatetown, PA

Arlington, Virginia

Case histories are invaluable components of civil engineering education in general and geotechnical engineering education in particular. They provide real world context for engineering methodologies studied in class, and serve as vehicles for discussing ancillary issues related to cost, communication, logistics, and many other factors. As commonly used in university courses, however, students encounter case histories as observers, and often on a fairly superficial level. Learning of concepts and methods, on the other hand, best takes place through active learning rather than through passive observation. To maximize their effectiveness as teaching tools, many case histories can be cast in a form that makes them suitable for active, hand-on learning. This paper gives an example of a case study teaching unit developed for an undergraduate geotechnical engineering course at Virginia Tech. The example explains how operations of the Hershey Chocolate corporation in Hershey PA were impacted by groundwater pumping from an underground mine about one and a half miles from the Hershey plant. In-line questions invite students to explore the case study. The learning objectives are centered on understanding interactions of geology, groundwater and anthropogenic influences, and are aimed at Achieving gaining understanding at a deep level.