University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Vision: Reimagining the Arts & Sciences for the public good

At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, our vision proudly recognizes that we are the nation’s first public university and with that comes responsibility. Public service is steeped into the ethos of Carolina faculty, students, staff and alumni. We are seeking to identify and solve some of the world’s great challenges—energy efficiency, social justice, clean water, economic disparities, health and wellness, religious intolerance, and more. We are striving for changes that will positively disrupt.

The College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina has a mission to “Think. Communicate. Collaborate. Create.…for meaningful lives.” Building on this mission, the College in 2017 implemented an initiative to foster “Learning by Connecting, Doing, and Making”. This campus-wide initiative develops a mindset focused on experiential learning. It encourages students to forge connections between the sciences, arts, and humanities; to participate in research and similar activities that do not have a simple solution; and to make tangible objects that turn the learning and discovery process into solutions that work. These experiential learning goals are achieved through programs that enhance courses and create new research opportunities for students, both within and outside of their courses.

The UNC Department of Applied Physical Sciences is excited to build on this foundation by joining KEEN. Through our KEEN membership, we will embed Entrepreneurial Minded Learning (EML) into our courses from the outset as we develop new undergraduate programs, leveraging our strengths across the College of Arts and Sciences to bridge discovery science and engineering. Our students will be equipped with the mindset and the skillset to solve the world’s complex challenges. We are also building partnerships with other KEEN institutions both in our region and across the country. These partnerships will have ongoing impact on our programs.

Current Work
Applied physical sciences will offer BS degree. Beginning this fall, the College of Arts and Sciences’ department of applied physical sciences will offer a Bachelor of Science in applied sciences that connects engineering to the liberal arts.

The new major will initially offer tracks in materials engineering and environmental engineering. Both tracks combine foundations in chemistry, biology and physics with engineering principles, modeling and computational analysis so that students develop a strong background in traditional engineering fields.

UNC-Chapel Hill has made a pledge to be “strategic, bold, and student focused”, and we have implemented this vision with initiatives that promote entrepreneurial minded learning to transform undergraduate education at UNC. This makes KEEN a natural fit for our university and for our engineering enterprise in the Department of Applied Physical Sciences, which seeks to apply scientific discovery to real world challenges to creating lasting value for our society. Through our relationship with KEEN, we are excited to build on our existing foundation to educate students who are prepared for the 21st century workforce.
--Terry Rhodes, Dean, College of Arts and Science
Ann Grimaldi 1 other  
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EMERGE is a community of educators involved in starting and growing new engineering programs and departments.

Anna Engelke 4 others  
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The MakerSpark framework describes how to develop hands-on design and making activities that target "troublesome knowledge."