iPBL participants
iPBL participants
Bridge model under the loading test
Bridge model under the loading test

From August 5 to 12, 2016, OIT Department of Civil Engineering and Urban Design held the 3rd International Project-Based Learning (iPBL) program at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (Taiwan Tech), one of our partner universities in Taiwan. Ten students from each university participated in the program. And, they were divided to five teams, each with four students consisting of two students from each university, and competed to build the best bridge model evaluated from three aspects: strength, design, and presentation.

OIT participants flew to Taipei from Kansai Airport on the 1st day of iPBL. At Taiwan Tech, an opening ceremony and orientation of iPBL were followed by a welcome party. The model bridge project was started from the 2nd day. The students were given instructions and then in each team discussed their ideas in English and made concept drawings by hand. At the end of each day, each team reported its progress in a group presentation with a Q&A session, which provided a good opportunity to exchange their opinions with other teams in English. The 3rd day was a rest day, and OIT students did sightseeing with some Taiwan Tech students. On the 4th day, they used CAD software to draw 2D and 3D images of their bridge model. From the 5th day, they started the construction. According to their drawings, they made bridge parts by cutting and grinding materials provided. Then, they glued parts together to make a model bridge. They almost finished their construction on the 6th day. The bridge models built by the students were filled with unique ideas. In the afternoon of the 7th day, the final day of the project, the competition was held. Each team gave a presentation of its bridge model, and then the model was tested for strength on a loading instrument applying 5-kg weights. As a couple of models showed some signs of failure after placing 30kg of weight, they were nervously looking at their model, but they were so joyous when they pass the test. The competition was won by Team C that received the highest mark on the strength test and also performed well on the presentation.

The students must have been very motivated to the project; even though the program schedule was one day longer than last year, some students said it was too short for making a model. They also felt the need for studying English more. We expect their experience from the iPBL program has boosted their motivation to pursue their studies thereafter.

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