Schulz Information Center

“Community-based learning and service-learning offer opportunities to prepare students for the actual work of applying technology to the human problems of the real world while providing significant lessons in the skills and knowledge required of a technology professional. - ”
—Dr. Gerald S. Eisman, Computer Science, San Francisco State University

SSU faculty member

Service-Learning in Engineering Science

Thank you for your interest in service-learning in Engineering Science. The CCE can help you create or deepen your service-learning class. We provide models of other courses, sample syllabi, resources for course construction, reflective analysis tools, and risk management support.

Service-learning activity usually falls into two categories:

TYPE 1) Teaching/tutoring/sharing knowledge from the class
Example: Engineering students at the University of San Diego partnered with a local middle school as part of a service-learning class, with the goal to keep young students interested in math and science. The university students used communication skills and design skills to create activities and materials for sixth-grade students. The project culminated with the engineering students teaching a science class at the middle school. As one student reflected, “One of the most important things about being an engineer is being able to help other people understand something that they know very little about and that you know a lot about.” 2

TYPE 2) Using information in the class to do something with/for a community organization.
Example: Mechanical engineering students at the University of Southern Alabama in Mobile, Alabama, partnered with middle school teachers in the Mobile County Public School System to create “resources needed to support active, hands-on learning” in science and math classes. Some of the examples of projects created over the years by ME students are: a windmill and an anemometer that allowed middle school students to investigate wind speed and wind energy; a solar cooker, a model greenhouse, and support for a solar panel to equip an outdoor classroom; and equipment and activities needed to support an after-school science club where middle school students could collect data to observe and verify Newton’s principles regarding force, motion, and energy. The students overwhelmingly responded that they felt they got the most out of the teamwork aspect of the project. One student commented, “(It was an) Excellent course that prepares ME students for the real world.”

Please contact us for more information.

Farid Farahmand has instructed several service-learning classes and may be willing and able to share advice.

1 Eisman, Gerald S. "What I Never Learned in Class: Lessons from Community-based Learning" Projects That Matter: Concepts and Models for Service-Learning in Engineering. Ed. Edmund Tsang. Washington, DC: American Association for Higher Education, 2000. Print.

2 Lord, S. “Service-Learning in Engineering at the University of San Diego: Thoughts on First Implementation.” Projects That Matter: Concepts and Models for Service-Learning in Engineering. Ed. Edmund Tsang. Washington D.C.: AAHE, 2000. 167-174. Print.

3 Tsang, E. “Integrating Service-Learning Into ‘Introductions to Mechanical Engineering.’” Projects That Matter: Concepts and Models for Service-Learning in Engineering. Ed. Edmund Tsang. Washington D.C.: AAHE, 2000. 119-134. Print.