Emflume1 for engaged learning Geology & Environmental Earth Science

Project Title: Emflume1 for engaged learning Geology & Environmental Earth Science

Project Lead: Carrie Tyler

Email: tylercl@miamiOH.edu

Phone: (513) 529-8311 Affiliation: CAS

Other Team Members: Todd Dupont

Project Details: The Emflume1 is a portable recirculating desktop flume system for teaching and research in geology, physical geography, fluid mechanics, and engineering. It can be used to measure and demonstrate a wide variety of concepts and principles such as sediment transport and deposition, hydrodynamic properties relating to fluid flow (drag, lift, turbulence, etc.), ocean circulation, and waves/currents. The Emflume1 is useful for demonstrations as well as for hands-on activities requiring data collection and analysis to expand experiential and inquiry-based learning. Students can observe and quantify a broad range of properties, including sediment transport, the impacts of structures (e.g. small dams) on flow, and density-driven circulation. The flume is small and easily transported, thus it can be moved between classrooms and labs.

Problem Project Attempts to Solve: Experimental models that allow students to manipulate environmental parameters are ideal for inquirybased learning. The fundamental problem that we are attempting to solve is how to transform student learning from the memorization of hydrological processes to educating students on hydrological processes through inquiry and experimentation. The Emflume1 will allow faculty to demonstrate a wide range of phenomena to a class, as well as provide opportunities for students to manipulate hydrologic and engineering parameters through experimentation in laboratory exercises. One example of this is understanding coastal processes. As Miami University is not located at or near the coast, most students do not have the opportunity to directly observe principles of marine sedimentation or oceanography, nor do they typically have a range of personal experiences in coastal and marine habitats to draw from. Fundamental fluid behavior is critical to understanding sediment entrainment, transport, and depositional processes. The Emflume1 can also be used to demonstrate properties of seawater, and to view hydrodynamic properties that otherwise cannot be observed.

Does this project focus on Graduate Studies?: No

Does it meet tech fee criteria?: Activities using the Emflume1 allow students to make observations and note important sedimentary processes, and explore the outcomes of varying parameters and flow conditions (e.g. water depth, velocity, turbulence, density differences). These abstract concepts are difficult for students to visualize, and the flume will increase the opportunity for experiential learning in the classroom. Using the Emflume1 students can pose questions and test their hypotheses: What happens if I place an obstacle on the bed? When two bodies of water with different salinities and/or temperature meet, how do they behave? The Emflume1 allows students to visualize the mixing of these water bodies through the dye tracing of the different water bodies. What will be the impact of removing low-head dams from streams in Ohio (something that is currently happening)? Students can observe the impacts on streams by removing these obstacles. These questions (and many more) can all be directly answered through quantitative analyses using the Emflume1. Students will be able to make and test hypotheses and thereby improve critical thinking skills. The flume will also be used in various K-12 education and outreach activities and demonstrations for school groups that visit the Karl E. Limper Geology museum, and "Science Week" (an annual visit by elementary students from the Talawanda School District). Undergraduate courses The three major audiences that will be impacted by the acquisition of the Emflume1 are: 1) non-major students in the introductory geology lab GLG 115 (~920 students per year); 2) students enrolled in the thematic sequences 'Oceanography' or 'The Water Planet' (~165 students currently enrolled in these thematic sequences), and 3) undergraduate majors in Geology and Environmental Earth Science that will use the Emflume1 in upper level laboratory exercises and in-class demonstrations (we currently have ~140 undergraduate majors). Several Earth sciences courses (in Geology and Geography) emphasize the formation, distribution, and characteristics of sedimentary rocks and landscapes (GLG204, GLG301, and GLG354; GEO425). The Emflume1 can be used in lectures and associated labs for students to test hypotheses, and quantify how changes in water velocity affect sediment transport and deposition, grain size, particle rounding and sorting, and the formation of sedimentary structures. In addition, several courses can incorporate the Emflume1 to examine properties of water, thermohaline circulation, and coasts (GLG307, GLG335, GLG354, and GLG408). 1. Introductory Geology labs GLG115L Understanding the Earth: ~920 total students (40 sections, taught twice per year) The Department of Geology and Environmental Earth Science offers 20 sections of the introductory geology lab (GLG 115L) each semester with approximately 23 students in each section (~460 students per semester). We will create a new laboratory exercise on sediment transport and the formation of sedimentary rocks using the Emflume1, where students can generate data on the effects of depositional energy and various properties of sediment. 2. Thematic Sequences Oceanography and The Water Planet Oceanography (GLG 244) and Water and Society (GLG 307) are large lecture classes (~90 students) that are taught multiple times a year, and are required for the thematic sequences Oceanography and The Water Planet (~165 students). Students in these thematic sequences need to understand many important societal issues, including the magnitude and effects of ocean warming, sea level rise, coastal erosion, and water resource management. Student learning outcomes are greatly enhanced with hands-on activities where students can engage with the concepts and material. Traditional approaches where students must learn by memorizing facts do not result in a true understanding of concepts. As these courses do not have associated labs, the opportunity for data analysis and experiments is limited to what is manageable with a group of 90 students. This will be greatly enhanced by the Emflume1 which can be used for in-class demonstrations or activities with small groups for a variety of topics including: properties of water, thermohaline circulation, waves, tides, laminar/turbulent transitions, sediment transport and deposition, coasts, and coastal management. 3. Undergraduate majors in Geology and Environmental Earth Science The Department of Geology and Environmental Earth Science currently has about 140 majors. Several of our courses taken primarily by majors will use the Emflume1 in laboratory exercises (GLG301, GLG354, GLG408), whereas other majors courses (e.g., GLG204, GLG335) will likely use the flume for in-class demonstrations. Undergraduate majors courses GLG204 Survival on an Evolving Planet: ~35 total students (taught once per year) GLG301 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy: ~48 total students (taught once per year) GLG307 Water and Society: ~140 students (taught once or twice a year) GLG335 Ice Age Earth: ~100 total students (taught twice per year) GLG354 Geomorphology: ~24 total students (taught once per year) GLG408 Introduction to Hydrogeology: ~16 students (taught once per year)

How will you assess the project?: We will assess the impact of the Emflume1 on the education of students in several ways. 1. Introductory Geology Labs - W propose that well-designed laboratory experiments using the Emflume1 in GLG 115L will improve students' ability to generate hypotheses, interpret data, and improve critical thinking skills. We will assess this by comparing a traditional laboratory exercise on sediment transport with one that is inquiry-based and allows the students to learn through experimentation. We will use a laboratory rubric for assessing critical thinking to assess the effectiveness of the lab. In addition we will employ student assessment of learning (SALG) style surveys after each exercise to assess student perception of learning gains. 2. Thematic Sequences Oceanography and The Water Planet - Oceanography (GLG 244) and Water and Society (GLG 307) are large lecture classes (~90 students) that are taught multiple times a year. The Emflume1 will be used in class demonstrations for these courses. We will assess the impact of the Emflume1 experiments by using active response devices (clickers) in a series of questions related to the material covered in both the traditional format (from previous years) and with the in-class experiments. Undergraduate geology major courses - We will assess the impact of the Emflume 1 on the education of our majors in a similar manner as to the introductory geology labs, i.e. through comparison of laboratory exercises or problem sets from before and after the acquisition and application of the Emflume1 and with SALG-type surveys after completion of these assignments.

Have you received tech fee funding in the past?: No

What happens to this project in year two?: There are no ongoing maintenance, supply, or staffing costs.

Hardware: Emflume1 - Little River, $9,980

Contracts: Shipping, $276.55000000000001

Total Budget: $10,256.549999999999