June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Community Engagement Division
24.188.1 - 24.188.18
Application of Sustainable Solutions in International Service-Learning Engineering ProjectsThere is a strong interest in the contemporary generation of engineering students to accomplishproject work that will give them the possibility to improve the lives of people in developingregions of the world. Engineering service-learning focuses on identifying the necessities of acommunity and developing solutions based on the existing limitations and constraints. Service-learning projects are an opportunity for students to learn about why technology is essential tosociety and important skills such as communication and teamwork. Since 2005, we haveconducted an engineering service-learning program in Honduras. The program consists of threecomponents: preparation, implementation, and evaluation. These components are aimed tointroduce and teach students the concepts of humanitarian engineering through a practical, real-world, hands-on experience. During the first stage, the students assess needs in collaborationwith in-country partners, and then research, design, develop, prototype, test and document theirchosen projects. In the second stage, the students implement and execute these projects. Finally,the students evaluate their designs and document their results as well as make recommendationsfor future work. In addition, the program allows the students learn about the history, culture,politics, health issues, socioeconomics and specific needs of Honduras and its people. In thecourse of the program, the students also have the opportunity to develop their needs assessment,research and development, problem-solving, project management, time management,multidisciplinary teamwork, and communications skills in a real-world internationalenvironment. Sustainability and local ownership in the projects is emphasized in the program. Inthis paper, we will showcase the projects completed in the spring of 2013 at two locations inHonduras. These projects varied from water quality/water distribution and alternative energysolutions to agricultural innovations, site assessment and community education. The program hasattracted a diverse segment of engineering students, including a disproportionally large numberof women engineers, as compared to general engineering student population at this institution.We will describe the processes, constraints, challenges and rewards of our efforts, as well as theunique aspects and lessons we have come to appreciate from this educational model.
Montoya Rodriguez, C. G., & Gutierrez Soto, M., & Dzwonczyk, R., & Merrill, J. A., & Greene, H. L., & Cater, M. (2014, June), Application of Sustainable Solutions in International Service-Learning Engineering Projects Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20079
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