Development of Hands-On Activities to Attract High School Students to Geotechnical Engineering Field: Work in Progress

Jacob Bohn, Ryan Eno, Samuel Mossop, Mike Mroz, Tyler Mericle, Seth Pierson, Cheng Zhu, Sarah Bauer

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Geotechnical engineering subjects can be perceived by some students as difficult when proper teaching methods are not used. This may be due to the fact that soil and rocks are complex, heterogeneous materials, and geotechnical design involves significant uncertainties. Prior research works indicate that it is important to demonstrate the social relevance of the topic and its interesting applications. This study aims to develop diverse hands-on activities to attract high school students into the field of geotechnical engineering. The team developed a class module to introduce local high school students to the fundamental concept of and various applications in the field of geotechnical engineering. To further demonstrate geotechnical concepts, four in-class hands-on activities were designed, covering topics, such as coastal erosion, soil reinforcement, earth retaining wall, and soil liquefaction. These activities used simple materials that are easy to implement in a regular classroom setting. Survey questions were designed to collect feedback from students and teachers to help further improve these hands-on activities and class module. Through the development and implementation of such geotechnical engineering activities, this study aims to increase students’ interests in learning geotechnical engineering topics and attract more students into the field of geotechnical engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-471
Number of pages9
JournalGeotechnical Special Publication
Issue numberGSP 336
StatePublished - 2022
Event2022 GeoCongress: State of the Art and Practice in Geotechnical Engineering - Advances in Monitoring and Sensing; Embankment, Slopes, and Dams; Pavements; and Geo-Education - Charlotte, United States
Duration: Mar 20 2022Mar 23 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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