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Including Service Learning In The Environmental Engineering Research Project

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Opportunities in Environmental Engineering Curriculum

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.715.1 - 9.715.5



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Paper Authors

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David Pines

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3651

Including Service Learning In The Environmental Engineering Research Project

David Pines

College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture University of Hartford


Service learning provides a meaningful service to the community as well as a relevant learning experience for the student. The service done by the student is linked to course outcomes and enhances the learning experience that occurs in the classroom. Service learning was incorporated into the civil engineering curriculum at the University of Hartford in 1999 by adding a community sponsored environmental engineering research project. Semester long group projects on a relevant environmental topic typically include fieldwork, sample analysis, design and construction of laboratory bench scale tests, computer modeling, oral presentation, and written report. An important aspect of these studies is for the students to meet the sponsor so that they clearly understand how their results will benefit the community. This helps to reinforce the student’s appreciation for the importance of a life-long commitment to civic responsibility. Assessment tools used in evaluating service learning have been student surveys, informal feedback from project sponsors, and acceptance of abstracts at professional conferences. Overall feedback from students has been very good or excellent and project sponsors have been very satisfied with the outcome of the projects. One student group received an award from the Town of Manchester, CT stating their appreciation for the students’ work and several student groups have presented their results at professional conferences.


The civil engineering curriculum at the University of Hartford includes a required 4-credit Water Quality Engineering course. Physical, chemical, and biological treatment of water and wastewater are the primary topics covered in this course. A Water Chemistry Laboratory taught by the Chemistry Department supports the Water Quality Engineering course. Students learn various analytical methods, which gives them a hands-on knowledge of how to characterize water samples. A required environmental research group project on a relevant water issue was added in 1999 to strengthen the Water Quality Engineering course and add a service learning component to the civil engineering curriculum. Two of the criteria for selecting projects are that

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Pines, D. (2004, June), Including Service Learning In The Environmental Engineering Research Project Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--12746

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