Bridge Construction in Guatemala: Linking Social Issues and Engineering

TitleBridge Construction in Guatemala: Linking Social Issues and Engineering
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsZitomer, DH, Gabor, M, Johnson, P
JournalJournal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education & Practice
Date Published2003
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number10523928
AbstractLinking natural and social sciences is required in engineering to communicate and solve problems. However, this linkage can be difficult to achieve in engineering education and difficult to reflect on in professional practice. Due to the difficulties, methods to bring social sciences into the engineering curriculum should be presented. This paper describes a project to construct a bridge in rural Guatemala. Engineers, students, and others volunteered to construct the bridge while learning about the culture. The study goal was to determine how the service activity supported social science and engineering education. Data including participant responses to written, free-response, and Likert scale questions were collected after project completion. The project was a positive experience for North American engineering participants in that they gained an increased understanding of professional and ethical responsibility. The experience enhanced the engineering profession, increased nonengineer’s appreciation of engineering, and supported educational items, such as increased understanding in engineering solutions in a societal context and the ability to function on a multidisciplinary team. 
NotesZitomer, Daniel H. Gabor, Michael Johnson, Paul; Source Info: Jul2003, Vol. 129 Issue 3, p143; Subject Term: BRIDGES -- Design & construction; Subject Term: CIVIL engineering; Subject Term: CIVIL service; Subject Term: SOCIAL impact; Subject Term: GUATEMALA; NAICS/Industry Codes: 237310 Highway, Street, and Bridge Construction; NAICS/Industry Codes: 921190 Other General Government Support; Number of Pages: 8p; Document Type: Article