Promoting Creativity: The Terrascope Program - Rafael Bras

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Promoting Creativity: The Terrascope Program - Rafael Bras

  1. 1. Promoting Creativity: The Terrascope Program Rafael L. Bras (UCI), Ari W. Epstein(MIT) UCIrvinE The Henry Samueli School of Engineering
  2. 2. What is Terrascope? • Year-long program focus on environmental and earth sciences issues • Open to all freshmen; non disciplinary • Project-based; problem driven program • Focus on solving complex, real, problems • Began in 2002 UCIrvinE The Henry Samueli School of Engineering
  3. 3. Elements of Terrascope Program • Required course: Solving Complex Problems • Required course: Communicating Complex Environmental Issues: Designing and Building Interactive Museum Exhibits • Elective: Terrascope Radio • Elective: Field Trip • Common annual theme/problem: real, global, complex, multidisciplinary, technical and non- technical, no single solution • Common facilities • Continuous engagement throughout career UCIrvinE The Henry Samueli School of Engineering
  4. 4. Annual Themes • Develop strategies to ensure preservation and responsible use of the Amazon forest • Design environmentally friendly way to extract hydrocarbons from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge • Develop a new preservation strategy for the Galapagos Islands and marine reserve • Develop tsunami prediction and preparedness plan for the Pacific Basin • Develop a plan for the future of New Orleans • Develop a plan for making global fishing practices sustainable UCIrvinE The Henry Samueli School of Engineering
  5. 5. Goals of Terrascope • Develop problem solving skills • Promote creativity, self confidence • Team building, organization and management • Communication skills • Research skills • Design skills • Hands-on experiences/skills • Create community UCIrvinE The Henry Samueli School of Engineering
  6. 6. Elements of Terrascope Classes • Empowerment: self-definition of approaches and self organization • Work in cross-disciplinary teams • Ample staff support and resources • Final products: high profile public presentations of findings, judged by experts UCIrvinE The Henry Samueli School of Engineering
  7. 7. Key Components Field Trip Project-Based Classes Community UCIrvinE The Henry Samueli School of Engineering
  8. 8. Spring Term: Building Interactive Exhibits • Builds on subject knowledge developed in Fall • Exercises students’ new team-building skills • Engages students in design/engineering process • Final product used by hundreds of visitors over several weeks without students’ assistance • Exhibits evaluated by high-school students and panel of museum specialists UCIrvinE The Henry Samueli School of Engineering
  9. 9. Design Process Brainstorming Initial Design Proposal Prototype Final Design Proposal UCIrvinE The Henry Samueli School of Engineering
  10. 10. Exhibit Construction UCIrvinE The Henry Samueli School of Engineering
  11. 11. Exhibits Open UCIrvinE The Henry Samueli School of Engineering
  12. 12. Achievement of Terrascope Goals Goals of Terrascope % agree/strongly agree Improved Problem Solving Skills 80 Encouraged Creativity 77 Developed Team Working Skills 84 Improved Research Skills (fall) 35 to 73 Gained Appreciation of Design 96 Process Learned from Hands-on Exp. 92 Improved Communications Oral: 43,59,49 Written: 16,51,30 UCIrvinE The Henry Samueli School of Engineering
  13. 13. Team-Based Learning Gains (4-point scale) % Available First Month Last Month Gain Efficiency of 2.37 3.20 51% Meetings Ability to Reach 2.44 3.13 44% Consensus Overall Team 2.71 3.28 44% Performance Equal Sharing of 2.66 2.44 -15% Workload UCIrvinE The Henry Samueli School of Engineering
  14. 14. Overall Assessment • 90% satisfied or very satisfied • 92% would definitely recommend the class • “ Terrascope has been one of the best things this year….I would recommend anyone motivated for more original work and (interested) in the environment to join.” • “It is fun. It is a nice break … you’ll learn a lot” • “It is literally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” • But ….“It was an amazing experience, but it took a lot of time away from my other classes that I have more intellectual interest in.” UCIrvinE The Henry Samueli School of Engineering
  15. 15. Why it Works Students control and drive Major, highly public the learning process presentation at end Students push selves and teams to produce far beyond their own expectations UCIrvinE The Henry Samueli School of Engineering
  16. 16. Acknowledgments • Prof. Kip Hodges, Prof. Sam Bowring • Stephen Rudolph • Debra Aczel and Ruth Weinrib • Financial Support:  Henry Luce Foundation (field trip)  Alex and Brit D’Arbeloff Fund for Excellence in Education  Offices of the MIT Chancellor and Provost  Massiah Foundation UCIrvinE The Henry Samueli School of Engineering

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