The concepts of participatory processes, sustainability, appropriate technology, project development and assimilation within developing communities are very difficult to implement or teach in a standard university environment. These issues resonate well with students, especially students from engineering realms where they are eager to see how their engineering tools can have actual impact on community.
To be able to expose the students to this subject, the Center developed a for credit, intensive academic program “Engineering for Developing Communities”. The course is part of the UNESCO UniTwin chair in Sustainable Engineering in Developing Communities, which is part of the university’s outreach program and taught entirely in English. The program is managed with a partner university and take place simultaneously in Israel and partners home country. For the last two EDC courses, the partner university was Mekelle University in Ethiopia.
EDC course is an opportunity for students, from verity of fields, backgrounds and cultures, who see things from different point of view. To work together in an multicultural and interdisciplinary groups as part of the intensive 2 to 4 weeks program. They are guided by international staff and while experiencing the “real world” they learn how to work with partners on a project (full community development process and project management). In different surrounding and conditions.
This experience entrenches in students the skill set to address complex problems in a holistic way. It was developed out of an understanding of the need for a supple
ment to traditional academic engineering curriculum. In the hope it will lead to leadership skills and ultimately to the development of a socially responsible, professional Global Engineer.
Topics and Methodologies
This unique interdisciplinary program provides students with real-life fieldwork experience in small-scale community planning and development, with special accent on sustainable and holistic approaches. The course includes classroom activities, workshops, laboratory work and self/group learning, that will eventually lead the students to apply their knowledge in a real world setting.
Course work covers a variety of development, engineering and global health topics, as well as field trips, social activities, cultural and language studies of the local community, giving the students a truly once in a lifetime opportunity to experience life in rural/ urban developing communities.
The topics and methodologies introduced during the course can be applied to both developing community setting as well as to larger engineering and environmental projects in developed countries.
On an educational level, we encourage course graduates to apply their skills and knowledge at their home universities, and to be active in socio-environmental activities when they return to their home country; for example, in Engineers Without Borders activities. We expect and hope our students will be responsible engineers with a social conscience in their future career.
On a community level, the course is intended to be a part of a long-term sustainable development process with the communities, which we interact with. For this to happen, the local partners take on-site responsibilities in the continued process usually with an EwB group.
Want to take part in the next EDC course? Reach out; Edc.email@example.com
In the video you can hear from EDC 2017 graduates how it is to take part in the program;