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The Green Design Apprenticeship

How an Outreach Program Strengthens Graduate Research


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Address correspondence to:
Deanna H. Matthews
Research Engineer
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA, 15213


In order to convey the results of our industrial ecology research to broader audiences, the Green Design Institute research group at Carnegie Mellon University offers the Green Design Apprenticeship for local high school students. The Green Design Apprenticeship introduces participants to industrial ecology concepts and how they intersect with engineering. The content of the program has evolved to include the topics of life cycle assessment, energy and water resources, transportation, and the built environment. The program has resulted in exposing a new generation of scholars to industrial ecology and has also benefited the research of graduate students involved with the program. The process of developing the instructional materials for younger, novice students based on complex industrial ecology research was a challenging task requiring thoughtful and iterative planning. Through the development and delivery of the program, we have experienced awareness of where our own research fits into the larger industrial ecology scope, have improved our communication of complex industrial ecology concepts into simple terms, and have gained valuable insight for engaging students in our teaching.