Enriching a curriculum with local content

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A major driver for technological development for any group of people is the technical needs of the people, and one of the factors that impact the process of improvement is the environmental conditions. In considering the habitable parts of the planet, there are clear identifiable regions that have different environmental conditions. In relating this to the field of engineering, many advances in recent years such as the various forms of the integrated circuit (IC) chip designed for different applications have occurred in the temperate region. Once developed, the application is not limited to only the region within which it was created. The desire for return on investment in developing the technology drives the investors, through commerce, to seek users wherever they may be found. Coupling this with the fact that third world nations need to be part of the global economy, many engineering achievements for example in the telecommunications industry that are found in the temperate region are being employed, for instance, in the equatorial region. Attendant to this is the high cost of repair and maintenance of the already expensive technologies. The high cost involved has led some nations in the equatorial region such as Ghana to rethink their approach to technology. While they are capable of creating their own indigenous solutions to their local problems, they are not at the stage to upgrade these to current international standards. The communications industry is one example. They therefore have to depend on existing products. To reduce the high cost involved in supporting these products, the strategy is to produce engineers, technologists and technicians capable of not only operating, but also maintaining the pieces of equipment proficiently, and where possible, modifying them to better suit their environmental conditions. This paper describes the cooperative effort between Penn State Wilkes-Barre and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana in incorporating local environmental conditions in a telecommunications program at the baccalaureate level through a student project in Broadband Powerline Communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008
Event2008 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Pittsburg, PA, United States
Duration: Jun 22 2008Jun 24 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


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