WORCESTER, Mass. — Jack Chase of Grantham, a member of the class of 2021 majoring in mechanical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), was a member of a student team that recently completed an intense, hands-on research through the WPI project center in Moscow. The project was titled “Rehabilitating the Image of Private Russian Eldercare.” In their project summary, the students wrote, “Working with the Foundation, we surveyed the facility and its residents to determine the current state of their private facilities. This research informed sample advertisement materials we developed to improve public opinion about these facilities and to attract volunteers and donors.”

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 50-plus 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.

“The WPI project-based curriculum’s focus on global studies brings students out of the classroom and their comfort zones and into the global community to apply their knowledge and to solve problems,” said Prof. Kent Rissmiller, interim dean of the WPI Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division. “Students are immersed in all aspects of a different culture, from the way people live and work to the values they hold to the foods they eat — all valuable perspectives for surviving and thriving in today’s global marketplace. They also learn the meaning and magic of teamwork; make a real and meaningful difference in their host community; and gain a competitive edge for any resume, or graduate or professional school application.”

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