Tulane University
The mission of the Tulane University School of Science and Engineering is to provide outstanding opportunities for learning and discovery in science and engineering and to foster an environment that is student focused, research intensive, interdisciplinary, entrepreneurial, and responsive to the needs of the community.

The School of Science and Engineering combines the very best of a top tier research university with a strong commitment to high quality undergraduate education. Our faculty, who conduct research at the forefront of their disciplines, offer outstanding degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The School is supported by 13 endowed chair positions, 11 endowed professorships and 7 endowed early career professorships.

The SSE faculty attract over $20 million dollars in sponsored research, generate over 500 articles in refereed journals, and file for over 15 new patents each year. The School generates millions in research dollars for the University, champions undergraduate research opportunities, and annually graduates the largest number of doctoral students at Tulane.

The mission of Tulane University’s School of Science and Engineering is to provide outstanding opportunities for learning and discovery in science and engineering and to foster an environment that is student focused, research intensive, interdisciplinary, entrepreneurial, and responsive to the needs of the community. Our mission aligns with that of KEEN, and KEEN’s emphasis on entrepreneurial activity will help us further our mission and vision. Tulane takes great pride in its ability to redefine itself and sees great value in the new initiatives the KEEN partnership will provide.

Unlike other networks, KEEN offers a strong community of individuals and institutions committed to curricular modification through an active-learning framework. Our inclusion in the Network will provide us with a position to both learn from and contribute to KEEN institutions in the development of EML best practices. Because of our mission’s strong alignment with the KEEN mission, our faculty have responded positively to integrating EML, as it reflects values that already exist in all three engineering departments with the added benefit of structuring methods for ensuring this value is communicated and instilled reliably in all engineering students. Tulane’s leadership in service learning offers a model for institutionalizing the links between classroom activity and real-world impact at the undergraduate level. It also provides a potential mechanism for tracking that impact across campus and in the community.
This program strikes me as an important and forward-looking approach to engineering education, one that makes great sense for both the challenges and the students of today...
--R. Forman, Senior VP for Academic Affairs, Provost
Ajmal Khan & 21 others
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Exemplar Content

Katie Russell
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This card outlines the initial offering of a design + service learning component added to the first-year chemical engineering course at Tulane University. After attending the FIRe workshop during Summer 2019, I developed a partnership with Audubon Aquarium in New Orleans. Presented here is an outline for the full semester design project, preliminary feedback for engaging a client, and future plans. First-year Course Description The first-year course Global Impacts and Opportunities in Chemical Engineering, connects core chemical engineering concepts to real-world applications—showcasing the global impact that chemical engineers have on our planet and the grand challenges that they are working to address. Topics include energy generation and renewability, advances in medicine, large-scale food production, revolutionary materials, and pollution prevention and sustainability. Students learn through relevant readings, discussions, tours of local businesses, hands-on projects, and guest lectures from faculty members. The class meets once per week for 50 minutes throughout the semester. Service Learning at Tulane In 2006, following hurricane Katrina, Tulane University added a service learning requirement to the core curriculum to provide students with an educational experience based upon a collaborative partnership between the university and the New Orleans community. Tulane requires students to complete two service learning courses, a lower tier 20-hour course and an upper tier 40-hour course. Any faculty member can offer a service learning component with their course, and the tier level is based on the course offering level. Design + Service Learning For the service learning course described here, students applied the design process and critical thinking skills to meet the needs of our community partner, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. Since the course was first offered during Spring 2020, we were unable to complete the in person design component and present a final deliverable to the community partner. Implementation The service learning class met each week for two hours. Most sessions were held on campus where students could work in teams to brainstorm in lab and visit the Makerspace to prototype. During the second session, we visited the Audubon Aquarium, where our clients (the animal keepers) presented on animal husbandry and the importance of enrichment. The clients selected four animals for our teams to work with (sea otters, electric eel, parrots, and penguins). Teams then broke out into small groups where each animal's keeper discussed animal specific guidelines and ideas. Each team was presented with an Enrichment Guideline sheet which included Risk Assessment, Approved Materials, and Enrichment Goals specific to each animal. These documents are confidential and cannot be included here. After the initial meeting with the clients, our main community partner attended each Friday session on campus to help answer questions and work through ideas with students. Once a design was selected, teams were required to generate a concept board, and presented to the animal keepers during the second trip to the aquarium. During this trip, students were able to receive feedback from their client, and a final design was selected and materials were approved. Each team provided the instructor with a shopping list ($100 budget). Supplies arrived the following week and students began prototyping in the Makerspace. Unfortunately, Tulane transitioned to remote instruction the following week. The original plan was to present the keepers with a prototype during the third aquarium meeting, then present final deliverables during the last class session. Tulane's Center for Public Service released a set of options for instructors to implement so students could still satisfy their service learning requirement for the semester. I opted to expand on the current project through a series of readings and online discussions on Canvas, and a weekly class meeting through Zoom, see the Service Learning Assignments Folder. Future Plans Looking forward, I would like to expand upon the service learning offering in two ways.  1) Additional partners: The Audubon Institute consists of the Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Audubon Insectarium, and Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, and is respected for their conservation efforts and environmental education. Moving forward, I would like to engage additional clients at other Audubon facilities to expand the list of possible projects that students have the opportunity to work on. 2) Connect upper and lower-level students: Currently, our upper and lower-level students rarely interact with each other, and I see this as an opportunity to establish mentor-type relationships. I plan to work with our current community partner to develop a design project for our senior students that can also tie into the first-year student projects. Moving forward, I would attach an upper-level service learning component to senior design and have both student groups work together. This can then be expanded to include additional community partners.