MDSE is partnering with Lewisdale Elementary, a Prince George’s County school, for
its Local project. The project has three elements: stormwater management, courtyard redesign, and STEM education.
The Lewisdale school building was constructed in 1954, and since then has added an additional
wing of classrooms to accommodate more students. Unfortunately, due to grading issues around
the building, rainwater from the surrounding area flows towards the school. This causes flooding
in both older and newer classrooms during heavy rains.
This year, the Local project team will be targeting this flooding problem by designing a
system that diverts excess rainwater away from the school building. This system will likely include regrading the sidewalk near the school and implementing a rain garden. Any students interested in
contributing to the project can expect to perform the following tasks:
Geotechnical and earthwork calculations
Sidewalk and rain garden design
Rain garden implementation
The final design of the system will be developed this semester, with implementation in Spring 2020.
The school building surrounds a courtyard space that teachers have occasionally used for outdoor classrooms. However, the courtyard is often too hot, has poor drainage, and is not a good learning environment. The Local project team will be redesigning the courtyard so it can be used as an outdoor classroom. Members can expect to:
Explore green engineering methods of creating shade
Model solutions in landscape architecture software
Create and test a build plan
Implement regrading, a shading system, and educational elements
The team implemented an insect hotel in Spring 2019 for use by the science club at Lewisdale. We will develop a final courtyard design this semester and implement in Spring 2020.
In addition to providing volunteer engineering services for the school, the Local team will bring the principles of engineering to the elementary students. The team is developing hands-on STEM workshops for 3rd-5th grade students. Members can expect to:
Create and test lesson plans
Work with Lewisdale teachers
Facilitate workshops at Lewisdale
The education team is finalizing education modules this semester and will be going to Lewisdale in November 2019 to teach students.