Embarcadero Seawall

© Port of San Francisco

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This program will be offered twice a day on Wednesdays. We recommend you plan a visit with a buddy teacher from your school.

We have Bilingual Educators! Let us know if any students or chaperones in your class might benefit from activities taught in Cantonese, Mandarin, or Spanish.

Learning Objectives (4th Grade)

By the end of this field trip program students will be able to:

  • use a model to test the different effects of ocean waves on a shoreline with and without a seawall
     
  • design and construct a prototype of a seawall that protects a shoreline from wave energy
     
  • analyze how well a proposed solution meets the needs of humans and animals
Program Summary

How might we build safe shorelines for people and animals?

In this field trip students will take on the role of seawall engineers and scientists for the City of San Francisco. In 1879, the Embarcadero underwent a dramatic construction project to extend the shoreline out to deeper waters. That project was called the “Seawall,” and it's still in place today. Now, at over 100 years old, and with nature continuing to shape the Bay, it’s time for San Francisco to develop a new plan. Through developing and using models in our table-top wave tanks, students investigate ways in which waves interact with the shoreline and other objects. Then they will design and construct their own models of a new seawall to ensure the safety of the shoreline for both people and animals.

Tips for Scheduling Your 2019-2020 Field Trip

Select Wednesday as your preferred visit dates to improve your chances of getting a Engineering the Embarcadero program for your class.

This 70-minute program for 4th grade classes from San Francisco schools is offered on most Wednesday mornings throughout the school year, once at 9:30 am and again at 11:30 am.

We recommend you plan a visit with a buddy teacher from your school!

Classroom Curriculum Connections:

SFUSD Teacher: This field trip program compliments the Amplify - Waves, Energy and Information unit

Next Generation Science Standards

Science and Engineering Practices

  • Developing and Using Models:
    • Use a model to test cause and effect relationships or interactions of a natural or designed system.
    • Develop a diagram or simple physical prototype to convey a proposed object, tool, or process.
       
  • Analyzing and Interpreting Data:
    • Compare and contrast data collected by different groups in order to discuss similarities and differences in their findings

Disciplinary Core Idea

  • 4-ESS3.B Natural Hazards - A variety of hazards result from natural processes (e.g., earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions). Humans cannot eliminate the hazards but can take steps to reduce their impacts.

  • ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions - At whatever stage, communicating with peers about proposed solutions is an important part of the design process, and shared ideas can lead to improved designs.

Crosscutting Concepts

  • Cause and Effect - Relationships can be classified as causal or correlational, and correlation does not necessarily imply causation.

Related Performance Expectations

Remember, performance expectations are not a set of instructional or assessment tasks. This field trip activity is just one of many that could help prepare your students to perform the following hypothetical tasks that demonstrate their understanding:

  • 3-5.ETS1-2. Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
     
  • 4-ESS3-2. Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.
Grades: 4th Grade
Program Duration: 70 minutes
Capacity: 35
Price: Free
Time Slots: 9:45 am, 11:30 am