An Experimental Pedagogy in Sustainable Building Technologies: Integrating Teaching, Research and Public Scholarship

Project: Research project

Project Details


This project will to support and enhance an experimental course series at Penn State that joins innovations in research and pedagogy with social priority and public scholarship. Combining hands-on experimentation of emerging green building technologies with integrative working processes in the utilization of those technologies, course work addresses the chronic housing crisis on American Indian reservations. This course series was developed out of Penn States participation in the American Indian Housing Initiative (AIHI), a national collaboration between faculty at Penn State, the University of Washington, and Chief Dull Knife College on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, Lame Deer, Montana. The goal of AIHI is to improve living conditions on American Indian reservations through the development and creative deployment of high-efficiency green building technologies and community-built housing strategies.

As a mechanism to draw together students and faculty of many disciplines in support of AIHI goals, this course series allows students to collaborate with faculty and tribal members in the design and construction of much-needed homes and community facilities on the reservation. Recognized by both tribal and university communities for its potential to succeed as a collaborative educational model, this course series is now being proposed as a permanent addition to Architectural Engineering, Architecture, and Landscape Architecture curricula at Penn State. NSF support is requested to help facilitate pedagogical improvements to this course series that will improve the technical rigor of the students' experience, integrate valuable research elements into the courses, and, as a result, better position the program for permanent institutional stature at Penn State.

Specifically, this project has innovative educational objectives: 1) Introduce students to issues of green technologies through small-scale experimentation, seeking ultimately to explore the integration and relationship of these technologies in concert; 2) Through applied research and hands-on field experiences, enable students. abilities to manage technological uncertainty of developing green technologies and related issues of integrated and collaborative design; and 3) Further students' collaborative research and design skills through active participation in interdisciplinary teams.

Effective start/end date5/1/038/31/06


  • National Science Foundation: $381,485.00


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