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Why Teach the Creative Art of Structural and Civil Engineering

Universities educate students who often transition into leadership positions in government, education, civic administration, law and business, with significant influence in society. Thus it is our obligation to graduate students who can question, think, and analyze for themselves, and are scientifically and technically literate. Recognizing this, most universities require non-STEM students to take at least one STEM class.

Advancing the Dissemination of the Creative Art of Structural and Civil Engineering (CASCE) is a project funded by an award from the National Science Foundation for the purpose of disseminating and implementing an introductory civil engineering course at the undergraduate level that targets both STEM and non-STEM majors. These courses are enhanced with research-based pedagogy with the overall learning objective to have students examine the built environment from a range of perspectives: humanistic, engineering, and social science. It is hoped that disseminating engineering as a creative art will increase the appreciation of engineering's role in society, and raise the profile of structural engineering within the non-engineering undergraduate population.

The 'Structures in the Urban Environment' course has already been successfully adopted in many other universities, and in different formats to suit their needs. The many successful years of teaching these courses at other institutions, including the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Virginia Tech, illustrates that the material can be transported and adopted elsewhere. The project team is available to advise how to successfully implement such a course, or incorporate any of the teaching objects used in the lectures, into an existing lesson plan.

The following link will open a PDF of the Proceedings from past workshops, which can serve as an introduction to the purpose and goals of the project.

- Proceedings of the Workshops on the Creative Art of Structural and Civil Engineering

CASCE proceedings cover

“One of the things that we teach...is that engineers are creative thinkers.” - M. Garlock