Published: Sept. 5, 2013

Ford grant to support 'Technology for Social Good'

Contact(s): Tom Oswald Media Communications office: (517) 432-0920 cell: (517) 281-7129 Tom.Oswald@cabs.msu.edu, Patricia Mroczek College of Engineering office: (517) 432-1303 mroczekp@egr.msu.edu

A community-based student learning project at Michigan State University will receive $25,000 as part of the 2013 Ford College Community Challenge.

MSU’s project is one of only nine in the nation selected for a Ford C3 grant. Ford Motor Company Fund will award a total of $225,000 in support of the growing trend of service learning on college campuses.

Students in the MSU College of Engineering will develop and test a teaching module, software libraries and cloud support to enable high school students in the Lansing area to create Java programs that gather information about local energy usage.

“We will be piloting an after-school enrichment program on mobile computing at a local high school that will be focused on building a mobile energy-awareness application,” said Kaitlin Davis, a computer science student leading the Ford C3 student learning project. “We will design and implement an application programming interface that interacts with the Android Software Development Kit, create instructional materials and a project website, then promote the program to students.”

The development work for “Technology for Social Good” is planned for fall semester, with the high school workshop set for the spring.

Ford C3 is a national challenge grant competition that recognizes colleges and universities that utilize a school's resources to address an urgent community need related to the grant's theme: Building Sustainable Communities.

Unlike many college grant programs, Ford C3 requires colleges to create proposals that have significant student input, involvement and leadership.

“The Ford College Community Challenge is designed to leverage the talents and creativity of students to drive meaningful change in their communities,” said Mike Schmidt, director of education programs, Ford Motor Company Fund. “We applaud these universities and colleges that are making student-led, community engagement a priority.”

Campus Compact, the only national higher education association dedicated to campus-based civic engagement, partnered with Ford Fund on this year’s grant program. MSU is a member of Michigan Campus Compact.

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