Panama City, Panama Project Center

Panama City Project Center
Current Director(s): 
Program Term(s): 
A-Term during early fall
Project preparation: 
Welcome, travel, and pre-departure orientations; project proposal and research plan coursework; cultural experience preparations

Location and Culture:

World-famous for the engineering marvel the Panama Canal, Panama City has seen significant growth, and is the most cosmopolitan capital in Central America. Panama City offers numerous tourist attractions, including Panamá Vieja (the ruins of the original city), Casco Viejo (the Old Quarter), museums, and national parks. The average daily temperature is 87°F.

Housing and Meals:

WPI students will live in 2- or 3-bedroom occupancies in a former U.S. military base along the Panama Canal. Accommodation type and location are subject to change without notice and will be confirmed the term prior to departure.

Panamanian cuisine is a mix of African, Spanish, and Native American techniques, dishes, and ingredients. Typical foods are mildly flavored and include ingredients like maize, rice, fruits, vegetables, wheat flour, beef, chicken, pork, and seafood. Students should inform their advisor of any health concerns, dietary restrictions, or allergies in advance of participation in this program.

Past Projects:

Past students at the Panama City, Panama Project Center have:

  • Worked to increase access to drinking water in informal settlements
  • Worked with the Panamanian National Airline to reduce aircraft bird strikes at Tocumen International Airport
  • Designed an earth gravity dam
  • Analyzed ways to improve a dredging project intended to deepen the Pacific Access Channel
  • Designed grouting systems for use in the foundation of a dam