June 14, 2014
June 14, 2014
June 14, 2014
Curriculum and Lab Development
20.38.1 - 20.38.7
The Development and Integration of Humanitarian Engineering Curriculum in an Engineering Technology ProgramHumanitarian Engineering is the application of engineering research and work to directly benefitmarginalized people. Marginalization in this case can be defined as applying to people who lackthe capital to acquire a basic place in society due to a host of reasons. Some common examplesof the forces that drive people into a marginalized position include poverty, lack of locallanguage competency, low education attainment opportunity, health issues, and environmentalstructure related to region, government policies, class systems, etc. humanitarian engineering isdesigning to apply engineering knowledge to directly benefit and improve the position andcapacity of these marginalized people. In general, humanitarian engineering focuses onappropriate technologies using locally sourced available resources that are affordable andsustainable. It is participatory in nature and often involves simple solutions to solve problemsrelated to basic needs (i.e. clean water, air, sanitation, heat, shelter etc.). As such, training for onewho participates in humanitarian engineering incorporates history, politics, economics,sociology, language, as well as rigorous engineering basics.The nature of humanitarian engineering projects offer a unique opportunity to teach studentsthrough an approach that integrates theory with a practical hands-on experience. By creating alearning environment through helping marginalized communities, students are challenged withproblems that enhance their critical thinking ability and help them acquire new technical skills.Moreover, the service learning aspect of these projects contribute to students walking away fromthe experience with a bigger picture and awareness of the world and how they can contribute tosolving some of humanity’s challenges.This paper focuses on the development and introduction of humanitarian engineering curriculumto an existing engineering technology program. Specifically, the paper will highlight threeinnovations which were integrated into the engineering technology program at MetropolitanState University of Denver: The development of a course titled “Humanitarian Engineering” whose first edition took students abroad to do a community development project in Costa Rica. The integrating of a projects class with focus on an engineering project which had students design, construct, test and implement soda-can solar furnaces for a local marginalized community in Denver The creation of a humanitarian engineering student club and how that club is increasing student involvement in undergraduate research projects and its role in service learning.
Brown, A., & Swigert, D. B. (2014, June), The Development and Integration of Humanitarian Engineering Curriculum in an Engineering Technology Program Paper presented at 2014 ASEE International Forum, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/17201
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