UMass-Lowell receives NSF grant for service learning

08/06/2004
By From Mass High Tech

The University of Massachusetts at Lowell has received a $100,000 National Science Foundation grant to develop service learning projects in its college of engineering ߞ; one of only 10 awards nationwide, according to the university.

The one-year planning grant will incorporate service learning ߞ; which connects a project to the academic curriculum ߞ; into core engineering courses. The program is optional but successful thus far. For example, a trio of mechanical engineering students recently constructed a prosthetic leg for a 14-year-old amputee in Peru.

“Our goal is to reach every student in every semester with a service-learning component,” said John Ting, dean of engineering. “We have an excellent track record. Now, we face the challenge of developing an integrated, collegewide program in which students from different disciplines work in teams to solve problems presented by community groups locally or overseas.”

During the planning year, the engineering faculty will pilot-test program options and prepare a full proposal for a $1 million, five-year implementation grant to fund a collegewide, service learning initiative to reach every engineering student.