The modern world has embarked on the mission of bringing innovative ideas to solve the increasing challenges of advanced societies by excelling in scientific research, improving education, and changing old-fashioned policy. Because modern problems require modern solutions.
Engineering performs a remarkable role in enhancing the quality of life on earth. It does it by tackling global challenges, including rapid depletion of natural resources, increased environmental contamination, destruction of ecosystems, and persistent population growth. Engineers are promptly revisiting their approaches to come up with new holistic ideas that can help in making this world more sustainable.
Colorado school of mines is one of the leading research universities that focus on engineering and science. It aims to resolve the global issues that are linked with the earth, the environment, and energy. Dr. Johnson is the seventeenth and most prominent president of the Colorado School of mines. He said that Mines is busy providing the best solutions for our unceasingly changing planet.
During the four-year tenure of Dr. Johnson, the following ten projects have been introduced at Mines for the progress of earth, energy, and environment.
- Extended challenges
Mines engage their students in challenges that are open-ended and extended. It helps them to cope with the complexities of different fields. Mines offer programs that benefit the students in the long run and boost their creativity level and problem-solving skills. Some of these courses are included inDesign@Mines. These courses begin with the introduction of engineering (Cornerstone) and end with projects (Capstone) in which seniors have to deal with open-ended challenges.
- Learning actively
To make students understand difficult concepts and learn innovative skills, an active mode of learning is considered more than passive learning.
Dr. Tracy Gardner, a reputable professor at Mines school associated with biological and chemical engineering, uses a hybrid method to make her classes more interactive. A hybrid method is a modern approach through which flipped schoolrooms are merged with strategies based on projects and challenges. Dr. Tracy Gardner takes assessments in which students are required to submit a video of themselves elaborating assigned science concepts. In this way, she measures the progress level of each student.
“I am excited about real about real assessment, in the real world” _Dr. Tracy Gardner
Dr. Michael Barankin, another lecturer of chemical and biological engineering, uses a unique approach which is a blend of various strategies to improve the communication skills of students. He gives students projects that include visiting an industry, detailed planning, forming groups, creating progress reports, and preparing for the presentation. This is a great way of developing confidence in students and polishing their collaborative skills.
- Shift in teaching
Trefny Center has endorsed Mines during the shift from transferring content to developing problem-solving skills.
It happened because Mines professors realized that a major part of the content is going to be obsolete before the graduation of students. Now they ask students to do critical thinking and then write about what they think. For instance, instead of telling the answer to a calculus question or telling which calculator you used for the fe electrical and computer exam. students are required to describe how they have found that particular answer.
- Building diverse society
Mines is filled with a diverse community of students. It has students including men, women, minorities, and people coming from different states. Johnson said that Mines’ mission is to build a student body that can reflect the society they serve.
To ease the process of developing extensive connections and support for new students, there is a community at Mines calledThemed learning community.
- Outside learning
According to Johnson, most of the learning at Mines is done outside the classrooms, in internships, professional communities, and contests. This gives students more exposure to working in the real world and is extremely effective in preparing them for the future. There is an incredible team, known as theDiggerLoop team, which works to blend different forms of engineering into public work because that matters a lot.
- More context
An institute known asThe Payne Institute gives students insights on amazing topics regarding space, environment, earth, security, and energy. They do so through guest lectures, blogs, courses, visiting faculty, articles, and different partnerships with Mines school. Because to do efficient work, people studying at Mines always need to consider a huge range of contexts. Contrary to the past, Mines school has more sophisticated and highly developed departments of social sciences, arts, and humanities.
Dr. Johnson said, students who perform high in subjects like science and mathematics often enjoy a compelling connection to music and art. This is why it is important to add those elements to a curriculum.
A program at Colorado School of Mines, namely theMcBride Honours Program, is excelling in offering a balanced and comprehensive education by integrating engineering with liberal arts.
- Humanitarian engineering
A huge number of students at Mines opt for courses related to humanitarian engineering. It enables professors of social science and engineering to work together so they transform old ways of teaching engineering with efficient methods. It is beneficial for students in defining and solving community problems.
- Entrepreneurial students
Miles is working with KEEN, a huge network including almost 44 reputable universities of the world that are inculcating entrepreneurial approaches in the education of engineering. The main focus of this shared framework is designing, impacting, and providing opportunities to progress in the world of engineering.
Dr. Johnson said that everything begins with making a university entrepreneurial first, then you have to infuse an environment where professors and undergraduates can together be entrepreneurial, a place with no detrimental to finding a contract.
Mines is famous for engaging its graduates in social interest groups such as leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Dr. Johnson wants to build an effective environment for learning where students will engage in an idea that will develop their interest in a new set of skills.
- High rate of sustainability
Mines were associated with the extraction process, only, till the 1970s. But today, its tagline is changed to earth, environment, and energy. According to the top professors of Mines, sustainability is the most significant subject that students need to learn and understand thoroughly. Mines offer a wide range of courses related to sustainability and development.
To explain the people working in extractive industries, Dr. Johson said, “Sustainability is not merely an environmental problem, but it is an economic problem. People should see themselves as a guardian (steward) of the Earth and ask, “What was the worth of property before and after they leave?”
- Innovation at first
The faculty of Mines are spending days and nights researching about the earth, energy, and environment. Their agenda is to bring clean and sustainable energy so the world can move away from sources based on carbon. From the manufacturing of modern aerospace industries to collaborating with the state’s first engineering research center of the water, Mines has evolved as a prominent field of engineering.
All in all, engineering has passed the stage of solving mere calculus questions and students need to utilize cognitive thinking to continue progressing to save earth, energy, and the environment. This is the last chance to protect our natural systems from depletion.
“All we know about the new economic world tells us that nations which train engineers will prevail over those which train lawyers. ” _ Richard Lamm