Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will hold its annual President's IQP Awards starting at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 28, in the Campus Center Odeum.
More than 300 student teams from WPI spent the last academic year working in all corners of the globe to address—and solve—real problems that lie at the interface of science, technology, social issues, and human needs. Of those, 44 teams entered their projects for the university's annual coveted President's IQP Awards; the best five projects will be presented before a panel of esteemed judges.
This year's nominated teams are recognized for having designed safe playgrounds for the Klong Toey slum in Bangkok, Thailand; evaluated business opportunities with solar energy in areas without electricity in Namibia, Africa; designed a water and sanitation center prototype in Cape Town, South Africa; analyzed privacy issues that affect consumers of health-related information technology systems in Denmark; and developed an electronic interface to aid in learning how to play a musical instrument. (A full list of the nominees and honorable mentions can be found here.)
The IQP, or Interactive Qualifying Project, is one of two projects required of WPI undergraduates. Students work in teams under the guidance of faculty advisors either locally or at one of the 26 global project centers WPI sponsors. (WPI has sent more undergraduate engineering and science students abroad for academic research than any other university in the United States.) These projects allow students to pursue hands-on, real-world research opportunities. Through participation at project centers, WPI students address local issues, develop an understanding of other cultures, and see how their lives and work will play out on a global stage.
To be considered for a President's IQP Award, projects must be superior in conception, execution, and presentation. The finalists will give their presentations before WPI President and CEO Dennis D. Berkey and a panel of judges; the winners will be announced during an awards reception that starts at 5 p.m. in Higgins House on the WPI campus.