WORCESTER, Mass. — Danielle Dechaine, of Waterville, a junior majoring in chemical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, recently completed an intensive, hands-on research project in Venice. The project was titled Church Floors and Churches.

At WPI, all undergraduates are required to complete a research-driven, professional-level project that addresses an important societal need or issue. About two-thirds of students complete a project at one of the university’s 35 off-campus project centers, which are located around the world. A signature element of the innovative undergraduate experience at WPI, the project-based curriculum offers students the opportunity to apply their knowledge to develop thoughtful solutions to real problems that affect the quality of people’s lives-and make a difference before they graduate.

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