Hammers were flying and saws were buzzing as Michigan Engineering ENGIN 100 students constructed mini greenhouses, water catchment projects and vertical growing surfaces at the Wilson Center on U-M’s North Campus on Thursday, December 1st, 2012.
In Section 800 of Engineering 100, Engineers Making a Difference, students use their creative and technical skills to address the global challenge of hunger in local urban settings. In the course,students learn about the stark realities of the urban food desert, and work with two local community partners to create devices designed to enable access to affordable, nutritious, sustainable and culturally appropriate food
choices. The community partners are Growing Hope, of Ypsilanti and Focus:HOPE of Detroit. Students have worked with the partners through a user-centered design process to create systems of use in growing food in
these communities, including water catchment, season extension and vertical growing surfaces. Ultimately, these devices will be installed at the partner sites as demonstration projects and educational tools.
The underlying goal of this section is to introduce engineering students with a passion for helping others to the realities of the impact engineering decisions have on people and our world. They learn the basic
principles of sustainable community development in a local setting, with the expectation that these lessons are transferrable to engineering for the world at large. Then, students who have these passions continue on to make their valuable contributions in the fields of engineering in a thoughtful, sustainable, and civically-minded way.
Photos by Marcin Szczepanski, University of Michigan CoE Multimedia Producer