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Engineering Students to the Rescue

haiti aidEarthquake-shattered Haiti is a world apart from America’s grassy college campuses. Yet for a growing number of U.S. engineering undergraduates, the country serves as a living classroom where they can apply their knowledge and skills to help real people – half a million of whom still live under tarps or tents – recover from the worst natural disaster in modern times.

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Engineering a Difference

engineering a differenceIf safe, clean drinking water flows from your tap, thank the teams of engineers who design, maintain, and upgrade the complex systems that deliver life’s most vital fluid. Indeed, engineering is all about identifying and solving society’s urgent problems–as your students will see in “Engineering a Difference,” an award-winning video series sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

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Feature: Low Cost, High Impact

salad-spinnerIn many poor, rural areas of the world, scourges like malaria, HIV/AIDS, and malnutrition are endemic. Blood tests for anemia are a quick way to diagnose them, but it can take days to get results back from hospitals many miles away. Last year, a multidisciplinary team of Rice University undergraduates devised a clever solution: It’s a centrifuge fashioned from a common salad spinner.

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Feature: Emergency Response

This article from Prism magazine explores the work of “crisis engineers,” who bring needed skills and order to disaster zones, easing victims’ plight with water, shelter, and sanitation systems.

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Feature: Pure Intentions


A growing number of engineering students are tapping into clean water projects, some through campus chapters of Engineers Without Borders. As a nonprofit humanitarian organization, EWB works with developing communities to improve quality of life through sustainable engineering projects.

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