Lehigh Valley students embark on a cross-cultural project thanks to the EDGE program
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Eleven Penn State Lehigh Valley students under Mechanical Engineering Instructor Tracey Carbonetto will spend the spring semester participating in a cross-cultural project facilitated by Penn’s Experiential Digital Global Exchange (EDGE) program. State University.
Starting the week of February 14, Carbonetto and the students will collaborate via Zoom with students and professors from the Ah-Najah National University in Palestine and the Institute of Science, Engineering and Technology (ISET ) in Beja, Tunisia. The groups will work with each other under the guidance of UN-trained teachers in intercultural communication to complete projects aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Participating PSU-LV students are Ryan Adamson, Aemen Ali, Fouad Awwad, Ethan Davies, Tobey Field, Harsh Sameer Desai, Pallari Satish Mujumdar, Surya Sayee Subramanian, Lexi Spear, Vaishnavi Ajila, and Vedat Veziroglu. They will meet their international counterparts on Zoom early in the morning and at noon to accommodate jet lag and will be placed in groups of five or six to discuss their interests and skills.
Specifically, students will use their skills in computer programming, information science and technology, technical analysis, and computer-aided drafting to design a product or process that falls under social entrepreneurship and addresses issues in the areas of climate change, health care, and education.
“An example I can give would be smart traffic lights that use cameras and GPS images to control traffic flow in urban areas,” Carbonetto said. “The goal would be to reduce the total idle time of cars waiting for traffic lights to change. This would require quite sophisticated coding, durable camera systems, urban planning, etc.
Hopefully, Carbonetto said, students will understand the role of culture in these types of skills and competencies, and how different cultural perspectives can help solve problems here in the United States.
“The goals set by the United Nations require a global effort to achieve them. EDGE provides a platform for our students to work together to achieve these goals,” said Carbonetto.
Projects will culminate in early May with a final presentation in front of international faculty and global industry representatives.
For more information about EDGE, visit globaledgeucation.psu.edu.