WORCESTER, Mass. — Julia Pershken, of Albion, a member of the class of 2017 majoring in civil engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, completed a project in New Zealand titled Assessing Awareness of Methods to Improve Water Quality.

At WPI, all undergraduates are required to complete a research-driven, professional-level project that applies science and technology to addresses an important societal need or issue. About two-thirds of students complete a project at one of the university’s more than 45 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 scientific and technical knowledge to develop thoughtful solutions to real problems that affect the quality of people’s lives-and make a difference before they graduate.