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Trips to Guatemala
As a geological engineering student, you’ll have ample opportunities for travel and fieldwork. One of the most popular destinations in the program is the beautiful, yet impoverished Central American country of Guatemala.
Many geological engineering students get the chance to travel to Guatemala as a capstone senior design project for their Introduction to International Engineering and Design course. The course, also known as GE 5247, is a 15-week multi-disciplinary design course focused on sustainable design and technology transfer to developing countries, such as Guatemala.
As part of the course, every year Dr. Curt Elmore, associate professor of geological engineering, leads a group of students in January, and again in March, to Antigua, Livingston, and Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, where the students learn how to provide sustainable water supplies to the rural inhabitants of the country’s highlands. In particular, each student’s research is focused on the performance of ceramic pot filters made with mostly local material and local labor and have the capability to disinfect a household’s drinking water. Students taking the Women as Global Leaders course, also known as A&S 111, join the students traveling to Guatemala in March.
During the trips, students learn about Guatemalan culture, study Spanish, collect data, conduct experiments, and execute work plans. They gain invaluable experience dealing with people with ethnic and language backgrounds different from own, and they learn how to solve technical and everyday problems in an international environment
These annual trips wouldn’t be possible without the financial support of the National Science Foundation’s Office of International Science, Missouri S&T and individual donors.
Photos from the 2014 trip to Guatemala by International Engineering and Design course students and Dr. Elmore can be seen in the slideshow: