Studying abroad, service projects, research, and hands-on learning are all experiences available to you at the U of M. There are two student groups on campus which incorporate all of these experiences. One you may have already heard of is called Engineers Without Borders (EWB). The University of Minnesota has a very active EWB chapter, currently working on three service projects.
A similar student group was recently founded here called Innovative Engineers. Members of this student group traveled to the Nicaraguan village of La Hermita to install a wind turbine to help residents power their homes. Before the wind turbine, residents were using car batteries for power. When the batteries ran out, residents would lose a whole day of work travelling on horseback to the nearest city to recharge.
This group was formed in 2009 by students who were inspired by their participation in a U of M Global Seminar on renewable energies in Scandinavia. The group's website explains, "The overall experience had a profound impact, providing the inspiration to forge a student organization dedicated to the development of renewable energy technology."
Paul Imbertson, professor of electrical and computer engineering, led the global seminar. After the students' return, he worked with them to build a wind turbine. The student group grew from there.
Within a year, Innovative Engineers reached 85 members and has taken on more projects.