The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Hands-On River Process Table Demos

Stream Table CMS

Tuesday, Oct. 22
10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Campus Makerspace
Agricultural Engineering Building Room 114

Professor Christine Hatch, UMass Extension Associate Professor, Geosciences Department

Hands-on learning and data collection engages students of all ages and backgrounds, and helps to develop intuition about river processes. This presentation will begin with a brief introduction to basic concepts of fluvial geomorphology, or why rivers look and behave the way they do. We will then have an interactive demonstration where participants will observe central fluvial-geomorphology concepts on a scale model of a river where 2 minutes equals 100 years of river evolution. This teaching tool allows us to understand river shape and process, to predict channel responses/changes over time, and to design culverts, bridges, and roadways that are more resilient to severe precipitation events.

Design Challenge

Thanks to the 3D Innovation Center at the Digital Media Lab in the W. E. B. Du Bois Library, we've recently incorporated scale models of houses (that fall into the river if placed too close to the river), roads (for demonstration trainings with transportation workers), and large wood pieces (for stream restoration) for instructional purposes. Can you help us design box culverts, corrugated culverts, or other crossing structures in TinkerCAD for demonstrations like this one? What else are we missing? Surprise us!

Questions? Contact Christine Hatch at

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