Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 70.76
Liaison Richard Johnson
Submission Date Oct. 13, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Rice University
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer at least one immersive, sustainability-focused educational study program that is one week or more in length?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive program(s) offered by the institution, including how each program addresses the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainability:

Engineers Without Borders – Rice’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders sponsors student-driven, international projects that promote “sustainable solutions” which are “culturally appropriate” to the regions they serve. The types of projects vary from providing clean water for indigenous villages to air quality control in places with minimal regulations. Students spend 1-2 weeks on-site implementing their solution in the chosen community. Solutions must be low enough in cost to be implementable and simultaneously must have low environmental impact. Rice currently has three ongoing projects based in Nicaragua which focus on facilitating access to clean, potable water.

Beyond Traditional Borders internship program – Beyond Traditional Borders (BTB) is the undergraduate education initiative of Rice 360°: Institute for Global Health Technologies. Its mission to foster the creation of globally appropriate health technologies that address the pressing health needs of the developing world. By engaging students through a novel multi-disciplinary educational program, BTB challenges them to reach beyond their usual geographic and disciplinary experiential borders and to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to advance such innovative technologies. The curriculum incorporates understanding through actual case studies in cancer screening, imaging technologies, implantable devices and vaccines. Students learn how complexities and variation across the globe affect the design of devices and therapies.

Rice Study Abroad - Rice offers many study abroad opportunities where students are immersed in a foreign culture and are expected to either take classes or serve in the foreign countries. Many programs focus on sustainability where students implement or research sustainable solutions for the surrounding communities. For example, Rice offers a summer study abroad program entitled "Urban Sustainability and Livability" that uses London, Gothenburg (Sweden), and Paris as living laboratories for examination and discussion of the major topics surrounding the issues of urban sustainability from an environmental, social, and economic perspective.

Immersive Experiences Included in Course Curriculums – Included in President Leebron’s Vision for the Second Century was a call to expand Rice’s international programs, so Associate Dean of Undergraduates Don Ostdiek has been working with others on campus to integrate immersive experiences into course curriculums. His idea is that these courses can give students an opportunity to travel internationally for short-term, but nevertheless meaningful, academic trips. For example, during 2015-2016 academic year, a group of students engineering senior design students worked on a project to develop a food composting device prototype for installation in the HSB Living Lab, a residential building on the campus of Chalmers University in Sweden dedicated as a platform for experimentation with new building technologies. The Rice students worked with Chalmers staff while developing their prototype, and following completion of the academic year they were funded to travel to Chalmers to install and test their device in the HSB Living Lab.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

Engineers without Borders - http://ewb.rice.edu/
Beyond Traditional Borders - http://bioengineering.rice.edu/Content.aspx?id=98 ;
Rice Study Abroad - https://abroad.rice.edu/
Immersive Courses - http://news.rice.edu/2015/12/04/a-new-way-to-study-abroad/

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