Peru Project 2011

Service-Learning Integrated throughout the College of Engineering (SLICE)

The vision of SLICE is to integrate service learning into a broad array of engineering courses so that students will be exposed in at least one course every semester in the core curriculum in every program in the College of Engineering.

Thanks to service-learning projects in the College of Engineering:

  • Solar lighting has enabled the people of Huamba, Peru to receive medical treatment at all hours. 
  • Heating systems in Merrimack Valley service organizations are more efficient.  
  • Honduran and Nicaraguan government agencies have benefited from water resource reports generated by students.
  • Parking spaces in Lowell parking lots are maximized, thanks to civil engineering students.
  • Lawrence playgrounds are safer, due to kinematics analysis by students.
  • Residents of an Arizona Indian Reservation now have access to running water and solar-generated electricity.
The objectives of SLICE are to:
  • 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 service learning into about 40 core courses in the undergraduate engineering curriculum.
  • 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.

Acknowledgments

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.