Solar Decathlon design challenge: A collaborative student-community engagement project
Chenot, D. Keith
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Mani, N., Chenot, D.K. (2022). Solar Decathlon design challenge: A collaborative student-community engagement project. Proceedings of the 2022 IEMS Conference, 28, 46-53.
To prepare our students for their chosen careers, it is important to provide opportunities that integrate their past studies and apply these through civic engagement. The Solar Decathlon competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) can be such a platform that challenges student teams to become involved with their community and apply their knowledge and design highly efficient and innovative buildings. According to the DOE, the Solar Decathlon competition provides participating students with unique training that prepares them for the clean energy workforce; educates students and the public about the latest technologies and materials in energy-efficient design, smart building solutions, and demonstrates to the public the comfort and savings of buildings that combine energy-efficient construction and innovative designs including onsite renewable energy production. Considering the dual benefits of this program, the Engineering Technology final year students at Fitchburg State University have participated in the Solar Decathlon Design Challenge. Under the supervision of faculty, students in coordination with local authorities selected a downtown urban property for redevelopment following the guidelines of the Solar Decathlon project competition. This paper presents the importance and challenges of this type of collaborative community engaged project to enhance the learning opportunities for undergraduate students. Moreover, it highlights the benefits of this type of real-world project in capstone course curricula.
Published in SOAR: Shocker Open Access Repository by Wichita State University Libraries Technical Services, November 2022. 2022 IEMS Officers: Gamal Weheba (Conference Chair); Hesham Mahgoub (Program Chair); Dalia Mahgoub (Technical Director); Ed Sawan (Publications Editor)