When the earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Jan. 12, Mission Bay High had just begun Term 2. Due to the highly significant loss of life and expansive destruction, ROP Principals of Engineering instructor Ed Borlenghi created a class project to redesign the city. Students began by researching the incident, viewing before and after pictures, reviewing living conditions as a result of the quake, and finding an individual's survival story. Next, student teams designed public and private buildings, such as housing, a recreation center, a library, civic center, shopping, etc. In teams of 2 to 4, students designed buildings using 3D modeling software, specifically Google Sketchup. After the virtual model was complete, teams selected a site and commenced creating two real models using cardboard and other recycled/reused materials. This hands-on approach to design in response to a real-world event proved to be an effective method of engaging students. For more information, please contact James Michaelian, vice principal, Mission Bay High School, at (858) 273-1313 or email@example.com .
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