Year: 
2020
Project Leader: 
Dr. Laura Rice
Department/Program: 
Community and Leadership Development
Funding Received: 
$1,000

Engaging students in authentic, real-world experiences, provides learners with an opportunity to cultivate a deeper understanding of content and its application. Community Engaged Learning (CEL) combines academic coursework with the application of institutional resources to address challenges facing communities through engagement that addresses societal needs identified by a community; intentional integration of learning objectives co-created with community partner(s); and student preparation and ongoing critical reflection (Howard, 2001). The Agricultural Education program at the University of Kentucky has created a learning experience for both undergraduate students and community members through a small gas engine operation and repair event. Undergraduate students participate in an inquiry-style small internal combustion engines course that has developed a workshop for women in the community eager to develop their mechanical knowledge. The need for this innovation is twofold. Students in the Ag Ed program requested more in-depth training in order to teach high school engines courses upon completion of their certification; and secondly, women in the community reported feeling unaware of mechanical knowledge, thus a practical felt-need has been determined. The event will not only bolster students’ confidence and skill level, but it also meets a need within the local community. An idea generated by the instructor, designed and facilitated by students, with the goal of meeting the needs of a community, “Women with Engines” has been created. Women With Engines was first held on November 19, 2018, but there is high hopes to expand the event, engage more community stakeholders, and provide more in-depth training opportunities for the women of central Kentucky.