International Service Learning Projects For Senior Capstone Projects
2009 Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings
Service learning is being adopted in many engineering programs at various course levels. International service learning experiences can provide senior level engineering students with opportunities to practice the required skills of engineering graduates as detailed by the ABET Criteria for Accrediting Engineering Programs. Bridges to Prosperity is a non-profit organization that builds footbridges in rural third world communities. These design build footbridge projects require a full year for
... a full year for fundraising, site visit, design and construction, and provide engineering students an opportunity to practice their knowledge of globalization, sustainability, engineering design, teamwork, and leadership. A team of students from the University of Iowa completed the design and construction of a footbridge in Peru in the spring of 2008. The planning, implementation and results of this service learning project are examined. Project Background Starting in 2006, a group of undergraduate civil engineering students from the University of Iowa undertook a service learning project to design and construct a footbridge as an augmented senior design project, satisfying a component of the department's required curriculum. The students were guided by the non-profit organization Bridges to Prosperity (B2P), based out of Yorktown, Virginia. Bridges to Prosperity is a volunteer based charity committed to empowering the impoverished in rural communities around the world through footbridge building and infrastructure capacitation programs.