Solar lighting has enabled the people of Huamba, Peru, to receive medical treatment at all hours. The lights are part of a larger system that powers a vaccine refrigerator and shortwave radio.
We define service-learning as a hands-on learning approach in which students achieve academic objectives in a credit-bearing course by meeting real community needs. In engineering the students become better professionals and better citizens while the community benefits.
- Integrate service-learning into the engineering curriculum at UML so that every student is exposed to service-learning in every semester of their experience in every department at UML.
- Study the art and science of service-learning.
- Create a formal program to connect faculty to community groups (local and international).
- Develop appropriate projects/experiments for integration of S-L into about forty core courses in the undergraduate engineering curriculum at UML.
- Develop assessment tools to gauge the impact of this integration on students, faculty, institution, and community.
- Become an engaged college--engaged with the students, each other as faculty across departments, and with the community.
We acknowledge gratefully the support of this program by the University of Massachusetts Lowell and by the volunteer efforts of many students, faculty, administrators, and community partners as well as the financial support of the National Science Foundation (Grants EEC-0431925, EEC-0530632, ARRA - EEC-0935185, DUE-0920574, and DUE-1022738) and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance. Thanks to all the faculty members in engineering and other colleges who have tried service-learning in their courses as part of this program. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.