Serving through rehabilitation engineering

Traveling from Philadelphia to Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China, Penn Engineering students and faculty are joining forces to provide much needed services in prosthetics and orthotics to those who need it most.

Our Bioengineering-based Global Biomedical Service program sends undergraduates to work with amputees and children with cerebral palsy in southern China. They provide interventions and solutions that improve their daily living activities.

 

 

Service Learning

Learn as you serve; serve as you learn.

Through School-sponsored programs and student clubs such as CommuniTech, technology-based outreach programs, and academically-based programs, our students are putting their know-how to work for others.

What is Service Learning?

Service Learning is a unique form of outreach, in which the individual performing the service engages not only in the act of service, but also applies knowledge gained in the classroom in a hands-on way. For example, students who have learned the principles of biomechanics in the classroom can be a part of the Global BioMedical Service Program (GBS) and apply those principles in traveling abroad and helping to fit patients with prosthetic devices.

If Service Learning is something that interests you, opportunities abound. Read below for descriptions of the ways in which you can become involved in applying you engineering knowledge for a good cause. If you are interested in joining an organization, please email Kat Jacobson.

Local Opportunities:

CommuniTech
CommuniTech is a unique community service initiative at the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania. It is a non-profit student organization that seeks to "bridge" the digital divide both locally and globally. CommuniTech is one of the most active student-driven community outreach groups on Penn's campus and it tackles the challenges of bridging the digital divide one project and one person at a time.

Engineers Without Borders, Penn Chapter (PennEWB)
Penn Engineers Without Borders promotes human development through access to technology. The student-run non-profit organization's dual efforts focus on helping developing communities worldwide with their engineering needs through real, hands-on engineering projects, and on educating students and the Philadelphia area community about sustainable development and engineering.

InnoWorks Academy, Penn Chapter
InnoWorks is a non-profit organization founded, developed, and conducted by volunteer college students. This organization is devoted to designing and implementing innovative programs guided by the latest neuroscience-based educational methodologies to stimulate interest in science, technology, and engineering among middle school students from disadvantaged backgrounds, with particular emphasis placed on targeting underrepresented minorities and females. Penn InnoWorks targets middle school students from three areas in the City of Philadelphia area - West, North and Chinatown. Penn InnoWorks will also provide bi-monthly scientific demonstrations at local middle schools.

National and International Opportunities:

CommuniTech
CommuniTech is a unique community service initiative at the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania. It is a non-profit student organization that seeks to "bridge" the digital divide both locally and globally. CommuniTech is one of the most active student-driven community outreach groups on Penn's campus and it tackles the challenges of bridging the digital divide one project and one person at a time.

Engineers Without Borders, Penn Chapter (PennEWB)
Penn Engineers Without Borders promotes human development through access to technology. The student-run non-profit organization's dual efforts focus on helping developing communities worldwide with their engineering needs through real, hands-on engineering projects, and on educating students and the Philadelphia area community about sustainable development and engineering.

Global BioMedical Service Program (GBS)
The GBS Program prepares students through coursework at Penn designed to familiarize them with the techniques of building prosthetics, cultural differences between China and America, and clinical skills necessary to work with patients, followed by a 16-day trip to China. There, teams of Penn and Hong Kong Poly U students work with amputees at a local clinic--a six-day process that involves getting to know the patient and his or her needs; measuring, designing and building the prosthesis; then returning to the clinic to work with the patient to ensure proper fit.

International Development Summer Institute – Africa Program (IDSI-AP)
The IDSI program provides students with the opportunity to have an applied learning and cultural experience abroad. The program consists of 5-weeks of pre-program preparation at Penn and a 4-week long training program on the campus of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana. Cooperating with KNUST and several Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), IDSI will give students the chance to apply classroom learning in the field and gain an insight into the world of international development.

Appropriate Point of Care Diagnostics (APOC)
Open to Penn Engineering junior, senior and graduate students, the APOC program is an exciting, new collaboration between Penn Engineering and two African international, health research centers in West and East Africa.  This program consists of two courses in which students will learn about relevant disease, the context of that disease, and how to design and pilot a point of care diagnostic for that disease for use in Ghana and Kenya.  The program includes a three-week trip to Sub-Saharan Africa after Spring semester ends.