Local Students at Worcester Polytech Return from Intensive Research Projects

More local students making their hometowns proud...

WORCESTER, MA - The following local residents were among students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) who recently completed intense, hands-on research projects.

  • Isabel Bowman of Falmouth, Mass., a member of the class of 2021 majoring in biomedical engineering, was a member of a student team that completed a project through the WPI project center in Venice. The project was titled Preserving the Bell Towers of Venice. In their project summary, the students wrote, "Through detailed quantitative surveys of bell towers, and the creation of interactive virtual tours, we expanded the Venice Project Center's knowledge on bells and towers in Venice."
  • Jonathan Coelho of Hyannis, Mass., a member of the class of 2021 majoring in management information systems, was a member of a student team that completed a project through the WPI project center in Australia. The project was titled Expanding the Network of Ignite Minds Family Day Care Centers. In their project summary, the students wrote, "Ignite Minds (IM) is a family day care (FDC) company that aims to support quality early childhood educators. There are few openings for children in IM family day care. The project team aimed to create promotional media to attract more educators to IM."
  • Vincent Tanguilig of Sandwich, Mass., a member of the class of 2021 majoring in biomedical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), was a member of a student team that recently completed an intense, hands-on research project through the WPI project center in Ecuador. The project was titled The Maria Amor Foundation: A Case Study on Holistic Healing. In their project summary, the students wrote, "Ecuador has one of the highest domestic violence rates in Latin America, yet the quality and availability of treatment for victims is lacking. To address this gap, the Maria Amor Foundation developed a holistic treatment approach that extends beyond meeting basic short-term needs to address the multi-faceted challenges domestic abuse victims face. This project used immersive observation and interviews with management and women using the services to offer a case study of their approach."

  • Charlotte White of Nantucket, Mass., a member of the class of 2021 majoring in chemical engineering, was a member of a student team that completed a project through the WPI project center in Cape Town, South Africa. The project was titled Facilitating the Development of a Women's Recycling Co-op. In their project summary, the students wrote, "Like many countries today, South Africa faces systemic gender inequality. Many women not only face discrimination at home, but also struggle to find job opportunities to provide for themselves and their families. This project aimed to empower women by assisting Blue Sky Recycling, a local business in Philippi, Cape Town, to create a women's recycling cooperative."

At WPI, all undergraduates are required to complete a research-driven, professional-level project that applies science and technology to addresses an important societal need or issue. About two-thirds of students complete a project at one of the university's 50-plus off-campus project centers, which are located around the world. A signature element of the innovative undergraduate experience at WPI, the project-based curriculum offers students the opportunity to apply their scientific and technical knowledge to develop thoughtful solutions to real problems that affect the quality of people's lives-and make a difference before they graduate.

"The WPI project-based curriculum's focus on global studies brings students out of the classroom and their comfort zones and into the global community to apply their knowledge and to solve problems," said Professor Kent Rissmiller, interim dean of the WPI Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division. "Students are immersed in all aspects of a different culture, from the way people live and work to the values they hold to the foods they eat - all valuable perspectives for surviving and thriving in today's global marketplace. They also learn the meaning and magic of teamwork; make a real and meaningful difference in their host community; and gain a competitive edge for any resume, or graduate or professional school application."

About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

WPI, a global leader in project-based learning, is a distinctive, top-tier technological university founded in 1865 on the principle that students learn most effectively by applying the theory learned in the classroom to the practice of solving real-world problems. Recognized by the National Academy of Engineering with the 2016 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education, WPI's pioneering project-based curriculum engages undergraduates in solving important scientific, technological, and societal problems throughout their education and at more than 50 project centers around the world. WPI offers more than 50 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs across 14 academic departments in science, engineering, technology, business, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts. Its faculty and students pursue groundbreaking research to meet ongoing challenges in health and biotechnology; robotics and the internet of things; advanced materials and manufacturing; cyber, data, and security systems; learning science; and more. www.wpi.edu

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