Last summer, as a recipient of the McDermott Award, I traveled to Venice, Italy to participate in the MOSE (Experimental Electromechanical Module) Project. This project focuses on flood prevention as well as planning, design, and evaluation.
The success of the MOSE project in Venice, Italy is an exciting example of how engineers have used the engineering design process and teamwork to find potential solutions to the very real problem of the flooding and sinking of Venice. On my trip, I was able to see evidence of past flooding and new construction throughout the local islands. Throughout my studies, I have had the opportunity to speak with experts in the fields of civil engineering and geotechnical engineering to find out what considerations were taken in the planning and development of the modular gates that automatically raise with unusually high tides to protect the Venetian Lagoon. Through talking with local Venetians, I was able to gain perspective on how the flooding, and more recently, this project have affected their lives.
This experience will further inform my PreK-5 science units with additional insight into meaningful engineering practices as well as problem-solving activities with regard to our region's own challenges with flooding concerns. On returning to King, I utilized this insight to work on projects with my classes and the Engineering Club. In the Club, students were tasked with finding a solution to a problem posed to them: a Nepalese village needs to build a Tarpul - a structure to get you over flooding rivers - to cross a river and reach the local medical clinic.