Challenges in Water ResourcesLocation of Program: Mexico Year: 2014
Program Director(s): Rollin Hotchkiss
Participating Major(s): Civil and Environmental Engineering
Students were divided into groups so they could be able to work with other students from local universities. Each group was given water resources and transportation projects to work on throughout the week and at the end of the week the groups proposed their resolutions.
Recap of the Year:
The Mexico study abroad was an amazing experience that allowed water resources and transportation engineering students to work on realistic hands on projects with students from two other universities in Mexico. Groups were comprised of students from both BYU, and from the Universities of Guanajuato and Zacatecas. Some of the projects included rainfall harvesting, monitoring and quantifying contamination levels in abandoned mines, modeling a dam failure, and modeling transportation problems in Guanajuato.
The first week was all about work and the projects. Groups met at the university and then made plans for each day. Some days the groups would make field visits to take samples or record information. Other days were spend developing hydraulic and hydrologic models to help quantify the current problem and to allow the groups to make predictions. At the end of the week, the groups presented the work they had completed so far and explained the work that needed to be done the rest of the semester. The week ended with a fun filled day of food and games to commemorate the new friendships that had been formed between students from the different universities.
The rest of the trip was to help the BYU students better understand and appreciate Mexican culture and history. Visits were made to the pyramids of Teotihuacan, the National Palace, the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Templo Mayor, and the National Anthropology Museum. Along with a better understanding of the culture, the students also gained a better understanding of how delicious Mexican food is!! Handmade tamales, tacos, bread, and ice cream made the trip that much better!
Overall the trip was a fantastic opportunity to gain better leadership skills, solve complex engineering problems, work in multicultural teams, and experience firsthand the amazing culture and food of Mexico.