Local Outreach Programs

BE Students Serve and Teach

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. In our local programs, students have the opportunity to engage in the Philadelphia and surrounding communities.

Bioengineering students and faculty make a difference at home as well as abroad, volunteering as mentors and teachers during the school year and summers. Some help teach middle school girls science and engineering skills through the Girls in Engineering Math & Science (GEMS) summer camp, while others assist with the intensive three-week Engineering Summer Academy at Penn (ESAP). Students bring computing and technology knowledge to students via Access Engineering and InnoWorks and conduct hands-on engineering projects in regional high schools though Engineers Without Borders (EWB). The opportunities for learning and service are practically infinite, and many groups are student-driven and run.

As one BE student wrote, “In particular, the academic-based community service class ‘Bioengineering in the World’ brought bioengineers into a West Philadelphia high school to teach engineering principles. I loved that Penn was not just in a city but was trying to be a part of that city by having students volunteer their time in schools.”

Vikram Iyer, Class of 2013, states, “Your first year is a great time to do all those ‘collegey’ things: join a club, take a class you are interested in, and get to know all the interesting people who make up the Penn community. Among many other activities that include singing and student government, I am a member of the Community Relations Committee of the Weiss Tech House and teach at Philadelphia Electrical & Tech Charter High School.”