Geotechnical engineers solve problems related to building many types of structures into the earth. While they do not build technologies themselves, they are surely experts on recommending where to build them. They are soil experts, knowing about the layers of the earth, types of soil, and the effects of erosion.
As the culminating design challenge to their unit on geotechnical engineering, second graders used map skills and all that they had learned about soil types, erosion and soil compaction to make a recommendation about where to build the TarPul.
Using model TarPuls, students completed strength tests with two different sites. Based on their results, they had to provide evidence as to where the TarPul should be built. Way to go 2nd Grade!
A 2nd grader gets ready to compact her soil sample.
Taking core samples allowed second graders to see the type of soil below the surface. But what do geotechnical engineers do if the soil at a site is not the strongest?
Second graders learned about compacting the soil. Designing their own tests, they discovered how soil compaction affects a TarPul's ability to hold weight.
What's below the surface? A core sample will tell us!
In order to know where to recommend the TarPul to be built, second graders learned about a technology that geotechnical engineers use. A core sample allows us to see below the surface of the ground and determine the types of soil there.
Second graders used this technology and then performed an earthquake test. As geotechnical engineers they changed the depth of the foundation to see how this impacted the building's ability to stay standing after an earthquake!
Suman's grandmother, Ajee, is getting old. With the possibility of her getting sick, it is important that he is able to help her cross the Karnali River regardless if it is the rainy season or not. Discovering an important technology known as the TarPul (wire bridge), Suman quickly learns that the most convenient location for the TarPul may not necessarily be the best. With the help of Kedar, a geotechnical engineer, Suman learns about soil types, erosion, and soil compaction. By choosing the best location for the TarPul, Suman is able to guarantee that Ajee will be able to get to the clinic on the other side of the Karnali River no matter what!
Key vocabulary: geotechnical engineer, soil, sand, clay, compaction, core sample, erosion, TarPul