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Puerto Rico’s Upward Bound T3 Alliance Students Help Respond to Earthquakes

T3 Alliance

January 24, 2020

After the earthquake in Puerto Rico, the TRIO Upward Bound student participants — members of the T3 Alliance — began their project to set up quake early warning stations for residents.

The Earthquake in Puerto Rico was devastating. The area most affect is the southwest area of Ponce. Homes have collapsed and there is structural damage to areas, including this bridge.

The TRIO program and student participants are members of the T3 Alliance and they began connecting and building sensor stations to notify residents of future quake activity.

Teaching Through Technology (T3) Alliance is a hands-on curriculum designed through a collaboration with the National Science Foundation (NSF), the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE), Educating4Leadership, and Federal TRIO college access programs across the country to increase students STEM identity and prepare them for successful STEM career trajectories.

The T3 Alliance model engages pre-college students from under-represented groups in after-school and intensive summer programs to teach them the skills to successfully deploy three emerging technologies — Raspberry Pi computers, 3-D printers, and unmanned systems (US).

(1) UB Student in the Inter American University, Barranquitas Campus UB program builds a Raspberry Shake seismograph. (2) Students in the above San Germain UB program building their computer with Raspberry Pi.

(1) Once the computer is built and connected to the internet, the Raspberry Shake is also connected. Raspberry Shake is a motion sensor that detects quakes that also connects to a national database. (2) This is program confirmation and connection of the Raspberry Shake sensor on the student computer. (3) The time chart and graphics are represented on this screen. This graphic represents the jump test.

(1) This is Saraliz González, the UB program Director at the Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico Recinto de Barranquitas, showing a real time graph with an earthquake that had just occurred right after the raspberry shake was installed. (2) This is a picture of some of the students during external site installation on the campus grounds. (3) This is site installation to include piping and wiring.

(1) Students installing the Raspberry Shake. (2) The completed installation before closing.

(1) and (2) Instructors and staff in San Germán UB program building their computer with Raspberry Pi. This is an above ground Raspberry Shake installation with the UB T3 instructor Luis Barriento Lopez from San Germán University in the light t-shirt. (3) This is the completed above ground installation.

(1), (2) and (3) Students from the UIPR Barranquitas Campus help UB Students from the UIPR Aguadilla Campus to install their Raspberry Shakes and test them with successful results.

(1) Programming test success.

The learning outcomes of T3 are reflected in the evaluation, which reported that 231 students (67.7%) responded “I used Raspberry Pi technology to solve a problem.” Instructors at each site choose an appropriate learning project for their student given time, resources and student knowledge. Additionally, non-STEM professionals reported their preparation to teach basic technology changes significantly from an average range of 2.57 “Slightly prepared,” to 4.36 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “Not at all prepared” to 5 being “Very prepared.” TRIO programs follow students for a minimum of 4 years to acquire longitudinal data about participants’ college success. By working in conjunction with TRIO programs, the T3 Alliance is able to record students’ participation in STEM courses and degree interest over many years. Evaluators also measure STEM efficacy and participation of students in STEM majors in college.

If your program is interested in learning more, or becoming a member of the T3 Alliance, reach out to Nicole Norfles at (nicole.norfles@coenet.org) or (t3allianceorg@gmail.com).

Please click here to support relief efforts to benefit the TRIO community in Puerto Rico. This initiative is organized by the Caribbean Association of Educational Opportunity Programs.


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