Learning through off-campus interactive Qualifying Project (IQP) is a good experience that one would wish to go through. It makes one become a good scientist or engineer since it equips students with a broad understanding of social and cultural contexts in their fields. Therefore, they become socially responsible and more effective practitioners.
In IQP, students work in small groups under the guidance of members of different faculty (advisors). The teams carry out research by applying technical and social science methods geared towards a specific problem or need. The students then present their findings and recommendations to the project sponsors through oral presentations or formal reports. The projects mostly address problems relating to environment, energy, technology, education and sustainable development. Most of these interactive qualifying projects are done off-campus. When students finish their projects, IQP gives them the chance to experience a different culture that would not be easy to learn in a normal learning environment. By combining the society, technology and problem solving, the students are endowed with important experience in dealing with problems and working together as a team. The students are better placed to learn on their own hence become good engineers and important people in the society. With all these that take place in IQP, I would like to learn and grow through off-campus interactive qualifying project.
The projects are usually done in small teams of students. On completion, the faculty members go with the students to the project centres to offer advises on the entire projects. The project teams concentrate their projects towards solving problems highlighted by local organizations. The collaboration between the local organizations and the students puts them into a new culture that shapes their experience. Therefore, going through an off-campus IQP is a good experience to get the desired skills in handling projects.
My experience and education make me an ideal candidate for an off-campus project. Through experience, I am well conversant with cultural and ethical issues that take place in off-campus activities or research. To be a good candidate for the project, you need to understand the research etiquette and cultural norms in places you will tour for your project. To perfect on this further, I intend to work with a faculty member to understand more on the norms and issues in the area of the project. In addition, through my education, I am well equipped with methods or techniques that are necessary in off-campus projects. They entail project design, data collection and analysis. These tools are very useful in any project hence it will be easy for me to work on the off-campus projects. Language which is crucial in any setting is not a problem since I do have good communication skills. Furthermore, since I am self-driven and hardworking student who can work under harsh conditions, I qualify as a strong candidate for off-campus projects.
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