June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Community Engagement Division
International educational opportunities for engineering students include, but are not limited to, internships, study abroad programs, and humanitarian programs such as Engineers Without Borders (EWB). Since 2007, a two-semester Global Engineering Outreach (GEO) course in the College of Engineering and Technology at Brigham Young University has enabled engineering and technology students from multiple disciplines to design and implement humanitarian-based engineering projects. Energy, water, sanitation, and health projects have been implemented in Tonga, Ghana, and Peru. Currently, the projects focus on the needs of communities in Peru.
Typically, nearly half of the students in the two-semester course speak and write Spanish fluently and have lived abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. This allows students to regularly engage with their Peruvian counterparts during the two semesters via phone and email exchanges on a near-weekly basis. An important aspect of the course during project development is the rigorous documentation of community engagement and product design.
Effective documentation is critical for program sustainability, allowing for future students and instructors to assess past community engagement efforts, identify community engagement challenges, maintain information of past societal and technical design constraints, access concepts and prototypes previously assessed, and review videos documenting community and project information.
This paper will address a documentation strategy used in the GEO course in which the documentation is updated on a regular basis throughout the design process, leading to a large database for all implemented projects. The documentation is composed of project management, community communication and engagement, technical and social constraints, concept and prototype development, testing and evaluation, finances, project design, project implementation, and project maintenance. In addition, extensive video documentation is also included. Finally, this paper will also address assessment related to the effectiveness of community engagement, providing insights on how to improve program sustainability.
Lewis, R. S., & Bateman, T. C. (2017, June), Global Humanitarian-based Projects: A Documentation Strategy for Strengthening Project Sustainability Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28411
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