BVRacademics: Advanced Engineering Design Studio students partner with residents at the Hebrew SeniorLife Center to ‘design with purpose’

Advanced Engineering Hebrew Senior Life

Class: Advanced Engineering Design – Project Studio (Honors)
Grade: 11th & 12th Grades
Teacher: Drew Zachry

Students in the Advanced Engineering Design Project Studio are partnering with the Hebrew SeniorLife Center in Boston to design items to make the residents’ lives easier. They’ll visit the Center routinely to meet, connect, and collaborate with the residents who live there.  

Drew Zachry, the class teacher, was inspired to create this Advanced Engineering elective after learning about the “Engineering for Humanity” course at Olin College, which is taught by Professors Caitrin Lynch and Ela Ben-Ur.

This Beaver elective takes engineering out of the theoretical and centers on the humanity of who technology is designed for and who is doing the designing. — Drew Zachry, Teacher

In other words, rather than focusing on the tools, this course will focus on the people—and design with them at the center.  Students will build relationships, seek feedback, and amplify the residents’ voices along the way.

This partnership is a critical aspect of challenging our students to design with purpose and empathy and is an example of how we at Beaver help foster meaningful community engagement. The stakes are high when the students’ creations will be used by real people with immediate impact. Long-term care facilities were on the frontlines of the battle against COVID, and we hope the end result brings the residents and staff joy. — Liz Latour, Director of the Hiatt Center

The full course description
The Advanced Engineering Design Project Studio course is intended to give students a more challenging and demanding environment to apply the skills they learned in either Engineering Design Foundations or at NuVu and allow them to continue to wrestle and build on solutions to real problems. This course is largely project-based, and students will be expected to use the time to research and design solutions to engineering design challenges. All projects will be teacher-guided but student-led with the goal of learning and using the tools and approaches of the engineering mindset.

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