EPIC Learning

Externally-collaborative, Project-based, Interdisciplinary Curricula for Learning

Examples

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Wentworth Examples

Many examples of EPIC-Learning are already taking shape at Wentworth. We have already taken our first steps. EPIC Learning courses have already been taught or are scheduled in the future in all of our colleges! At the risk of leaving many of our successes unmentioned, just a few are described here:

  • In the spring 2013, 132 first-year students and 6 faculty taught the Introduction to Engineering course in an interdisciplinary format. It will be expanded to 216 students and 10 faculty in Spring 2014.
  • Also in Spring 2014, students and faculty from six programs – architecture, interior design, industrial design, construction management, mechanical engineering and civil engineering – will work together on a project based on rehabilitating one of the historic buildings at the Medfield State Hospital site that has been closed and shuttered since 2003.
  • Collaborations are underway between math and engineering, between engineering technology and computer science, between manufacturing and industrial design, between interior design and architecture, between construction management and architecture and interior design.
  • Just before the 2013 holiday break there was a meeting to discuss a General Electric – Wentworth Center of Excellence.

This means that hundreds of our students are already involved in some form of EPIC Learning. We may not have as far to go to achieve success in Fall 2015 as we think we do. For a detailed project list with descriptions, view the project list with descriptions.

Extra-Curricular Immersion

Over 10% of our students engaged with Accelerate in the last 18 months. Over 150 interdisciplinary ideas were submitted and many connections to Alumni, professionals in Boston and beyond, industry and communities were formed to push these ideas forward. Some examples include:

Startup Challenge

  • Gentoo: Infusion Harness Vest to support patients undergoing chemotherapy or infusion treatment [ Articles written about Gentoo] [Gentoo website]
  • Backroads Pedicab: Re-engineering the Pedicab
    [Globe article and editorial] [Backroads Pedicab website]
  • Simply Stored: Developing a nailpolish organizer doubling as a decorative item [facebook]
  • CarEz: Transporting large scale items with ease

Social Innovation Lab is a collaborative effort between Accelerate and the Center for Community and Learning Partnerships. It allows students to apply their product and technology innovations to problems that need to be solved, in areas that are relevant, and to impact communities and individual’s lives.

While the CLP collaborates closely with Accelerate, particularly as part of the Social Innovation Lab, some signature programs allow students to engage further with communities and make an impact.

Co-Build is a program at Wentworth that engages students in a unique, hands-on experience that helps them become familiar with the local neighborhoods while working with community members to help address the needs of the community.

Since 2005, over 175 Wentworth students have participated in the Alternative Spring Break program (ASB) performing more than 8,000 hours of service and fundraising $86,000. ASB brings students from different majors together to work on a community-based project. The Center partners with organizations like Rebuilding Together, an organization which aids homeowners displaced by Hurricane Katrina, renovating and rebuilding homes that were damaged in an effort to preserve historic neighborhoods and bring homeowners back into their own residences.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program began at Wentworth in 2002 with the support of the Management faculty and the student group, Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE). VITA trains students to prepare income taxes for low income clients in the community as a free service.The Center partners with ABCD Parker Hill/Fenway and the program is run out of that location. Students enjoy interacting with neighborhood residents, learning to work with a team of volunteers, and the opportunity to learn to prepare their own taxes.

Explore External Examples of Project-based Learning

Project-based learning is alive and well in institutions outside of Wentworth. Many successful external examples exist that may fuel your thinking about EPIC Learning. For external examples of interdisciplinary and project-based learning, view the external resources

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