Service Learning

Cal Poly Community Based Learning

Cal Poly Service Learning

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Service Learning Trip to Malawi

Project Summary

This past summer a team of two Cal Poly faculty members and five Cal Poly students traveled to Malawi to evaluate the implementation of their class project on sustainable irrigation practices. Team members included Diane Long, retired Political Science faculty member and team leader, Rod Hoadley, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering faculty member, Social Sciences graduate Kaitlin Chandler, Earth Science graduate Bridget Hill, Animal Science senior Grace Wetmore, and Blayne Morgan, an Environmental Engineering senior.

The idea was developed as the result of a new course series, UNIV/HNRS 491 & 492: Appropriate Technology for Impoverished Communities, which was offered for the first time last Winter and Spring. The course series brought together students and faculty members from various disciplines who shared a desire to help communities around the world. The students studied impoverished communities, world hunger and the causes of poverty, and developed technologies to be implemented in such communities.

This particular team's focus was on Malawi, Africa. After discovering that certain villages in Malawi did not have irrigation and could not grow enough food, the group designed a prototype for a bicycle-powered water pump. The trip was a great success and demonstrates service learning at its best. For more details, please see or an article in the Mustang Daily


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