April 4, 2020

vwkly-Education

Aim for Excellence

To help students think in 3-D, a geologist turns to paper model making

Lower, fold, glue! University at Buffalo hydrology researcher Chris Lowry hopes that developing paper aquifers...

Lower, fold, glue! University at Buffalo hydrology researcher Chris Lowry hopes that developing paper aquifers will assistance learners recognize ideas linked to groundwater. Credit: Douglas Levere / University at Buffalo

Scissors. Purple glue sticks. Paper patterns to slice out and fold.


Chris Lowry teaches highly developed geology higher education classes at the University at Buffalo. But some of the resources he provides to class evoke the joy of quality school.

Lowry is creator of the Foldable Aquifer Project—a collection of three-D paper types of aquifers, which (in true lifetime) consist of layers of permeable rock, sand and gravel that maintain h2o underground.

Each paper aquifer helps learners recognize a certain trouble tied to subterranean h2o storage, this sort of as how pumping h2o out of a well has an effect on neighboring wetlands.

Lowry has developed about 20 of the types so considerably, all obtainable to obtain for free on the job website.

“Geology is a three-D science, but all the things we give to learners is on a two-D piece of paper,” claims Lowry, an associate professor in the Division of Geology and Division of Natural environment and Sustainability in the UB University of Arts and Sciences. “With the foldable aquifers, learners will not have to envision what a two-D drawing appears like in three-D.”

“I applied the aquifers in class this yr, and learners look to be pretty pumped on it,” Lowry claims (no pun meant). “Not everyone took the time to fold the types, and there are some learners who will not need that they can do it in their brain. But there are other learners who experienced challenges on a research assignment, and when I gave them the folded model, right away they experienced this lightbulb kind of instant. They were being like, “Oh. I see what you’re conversing about now.'”

Credit: University at Buffalo

Wondering outdoors the box

Lowry began coming up with the types while on sabbatical in 2019. He set aside an hour a working day to do the job on them and produce corresponding research assignments.

But the project’s inspiration—like the scissors and glue sticks—draws from childhood.

Lowry remembers heading to a cafe termed the Old Spaghetti Manufacturing facility when he was a boy. Little ones got paper trolleys to fold during the food, he claims, and he was reminded of that tactile knowledge one particular working day during office environment several hours.

“I experienced this trouble I gave in class in which the handout confirmed what the aquifer would glimpse like from the facet, the prime and the other facet,” he recalls. “I folded the paper in office environment several hours. And when I folded that paper in half, I was like, these were being absolutely like individuals trolleys I manufactured when I was a kid.”

Jeremy Stock, a UB geology master’s scholar and specialist artist and caricaturist, claims he enjoys the foldable aquifer concept. He and Lowry talked about the types when Lowry was producing them. Later on, Stock took a class in which Lowry gave learners assignments involving the aquifers.

To help students think in 3D, a geologist turns to paper model making
University at Buffalo hydrology researcher Chris Lowry has made numerous foldable aquifers to assistance learners visualize how h2o is stored underground. Credit: Douglas Levere / University at Buffalo

“It’s this kind of previous-school mini project—a minor art you can do while you’re undertaking your hydrogeology research,” claims Stock, who teaches art to superior school learners in Buffalo. “You can maintain it in your hand and convert it all-around, which is helpful for the reason that one particular of the worries in instructing is to get folks to feel in 3 dimensions.”

The foldable aquifers look “absolutely like a Chris issue,” Stock adds. “He likes to feel outdoors the box.”

Homework assignment—and keepsake?

Lowry got a fantastic reaction from colleagues when he shared the job on Twitter and at a recent conference. His website would not however observe downloads, so he isn’t really certain how lots of folks are working with his patterns. But he hopes that other educators will explore and benefit from the paper aquifers.

“School associates need resources in their classroom, however they will not have time to absolutely acquire all of these resources,” he claims. “These foldable aquifers are meant to be a plug and engage in kind of issue. If you’re undertaking a lecture on Darcy’s law, which has to do with h2o move, you could just go to the Darcy’s law trouble and give the aquifer and research assignment to your learners.”

  • To help students think in 3D, a geologist turns to paper model making
    Each foldable aquifer helps learners recognize ideas linked to groundwater. This one particular focuses on how drawing h2o from a well could affect a wetland. Credit: Douglas Levere / University at Buffalo
  • To help students think in 3D, a geologist turns to paper model making
    Each foldable aquifer helps learners recognize ideas linked to groundwater. This one particular focuses on a concept termed hydraulic conductivity. Credit: Douglas Levere / University at Buffalo
  • To help students think in 3D, a geologist turns to paper model making
    A handful of folded aquifers. Credit: Douglas Levere / University at Buffalo
  • To help students think in 3D, a geologist turns to paper model making
    A handful of unfolded aquifers. Credit: Douglas Levere / University at Buffalo

It’s a artistic way, Lowry claims, to make lessons interesting and interact learners in pondering about h2o.

“Perhaps you certainly hated my class and you’re heading to burn your aquifer at the finish of the semester, but I feel these issues could sit on students’ desk for a while,” Lowry claims. “They could glimpse at their aquifer afterwards on. Now, I’ve touched them one particular a lot more time and manufactured them feel about hydrogeology.”


Towards a smarter way of recharging the aquifer


Presented by
University at Buffalo

Citation:
To assistance learners feel in three-D, a geologist turns to paper model building (2020, February 20)
retrieved 20 February 2020
from https://phys.org/news/2020-02-learners-d-geologist-paper.html

This document is matter to copyright. Aside from any truthful working for the objective of personal review or investigate, no
section may be reproduced devoid of the created authorization. The content material is offered for facts needs only.