WORCESTER, Mass. — Two local residents, both members of the class of 2018, were among students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute who recently completed intense, hands-on research projects.

Abigail King, of Benton, was a member of a student team that completed a project in Ecuador. The project was titled Assessing Sustainable Bio-construction Alternatives. In their project outline, the students wrote, “Our goal was to cooperate with the Azuay Prefecture, San Rafael administration, and community members to contribute to sustainable bio-construction designs that are locally appropriate to the parish of San Rafael. We incorporated a human-centered design approach to this project to ensure desirability, feasibility, and viability of our materials assessment,” according to the WPI release.

Allyson Day, of West Gardiner, was a member of a student team that completed a project in Bangkok. The project was titled Developing a Gardening Program for the Baan Huay Euen School. In the project outline, the students wrote, “The goal of this project is to develop a comprehensive educational gardening program to teach agricultural skills at the Baan Huay Euen School in Northern Thailand. Through observation and interviews with the staff and students, we found that the existing program lacked the effectiveness and structure required of successful educational gardens,” according to the release.

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 40 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.

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