June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.1099.1 - 11.1099.14
Rice University Engineers Without Borders: An Exercise in International Service Learning
The Rice University chapter of Engineers Without Borders (Rice-EWB) is revolutionizing the education of engineering students at Rice University through the completion of international engineering service projects in the developing world. Through hands-on problem-based learning, Rice-EWB facilitates and promotes the development of practical engineering expertise, project design and international project management experience, strong leadership skills, and perhaps most importantly, the development of socially, economically, and environmentally conscious engineers. Engineers Without Borders - USA states that it is essential to “develop engineers who have the skills and tools appropriate to address the issues that our planet is facing today and is likely to face within the next 20 years, who are aware of the needs of the developing world, and who can contribute to the relief of the endemic problems of poverty afflicting developing communities worldwide”1. It is the goal of Rice-EWB to make positive change in the developing world while simultaneously developing engineers who are capable of tackling the challenges that confront our world.
Overview of Rice-EWB
Rice-EWB is an entirely student run nonprofit organization dedicated to helping communities in the developing world improve their quality of life through the implementation of engineering projects that address basic needs for water, sanitation, shelter, bridge, and energy systems. By bridging the gap between those looking for help and those eager to help, Rice-EWB facilitates the completion of service projects that profoundly affect a community and promote the development of socially and environmentally conscious engineers with outstanding leadership skills and practical, hands-on, international engineering experience. Rice-EWB projects stress community partnership, reliable and sustainable technology, and the importance of education, training, and empowerment in creating a lasting, positive effect. All Rice-EWB projects are supported entirely by donations from family, friends, charitable organizations, and corporations.
Since its establishment in April of 2003 by students Abigail Watrous, Michael Higuera, and Tamar Losleben, Rice-EWB has grown into the university’s largest student run engineering organization on campus. As the inaugural project, the three founding members joined the University of Colorado chapter of Engineers Without Borders to implement a rainwater catchment and water management system in the remote village of Foutaka Zambougou, Mali. Once back on campus, the founding members began work to initiate three international engineering service projects, one in El Salvador, one in Nicaragua, and one in Mexico. The chapter has since added a fourth project, also located in Nicaragua. Since its founding, the organization has grown steadily and now has over sixty five active student members, several professional mentors and advisors, and a yearly operating budget of over $40,000. Rice-EWB has become one of the most prominent and active Engineers Without Borders chapters in the country and was awarded the 'Sustainable Legacy Award' at the 2004 EWB-USA National Conference and the ‘Appropriate Technology Award’ at the 2006 EWB-USA International Conference, which was hosted by Rice-EWB at Rice University from February 16th through 18th.
Gordon, R., & Gordon, A., & Bedient, P. (2006, June), Rice University Engineers Without Borders: An Exercise In International Service Learning Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--646
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