The Connecticut (CT) College of Technology with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) has established the Center for Life Support and Sustainable Living. The Center is the result of partnerships with the CT Community Colleges, four-year institutions, local hospitals and industry, and the collaboration with NASA through the CT Space Grant College Consortium. The primary goals of the Center are the following: (1) to provide teams of community colleges and four-year university students opportunities to apply science, engineering and technology knowledge as well as professional skills necessary to be successful in future employment to real-world problems that address life support and sustainable living issues; (2) to strengthen the 2+2+2 pathways between community colleges and four-year institutions; (3) provide professional development opportunities for community college faculty; (4) implement strategies to recruit and retain a diverse population of students interested in STEM disciplines; and (5) develop multi-media curriculum modules using contextual or problem-based-case-based learning (PBCL). The project has instituted interdisciplinary teams of community college and university students who are initiated into the program with intensive instruction and project planning and management, leadership, teamwork, and behavioral diversity using DISC behavioral analysis profiles during an intense three-week period during the winter intersession. In addition to the initial training, student participants must commit to working approximately 250 hours during their school year for which they are working on their respective team-based projects. As part of their hours, they must meet as a full team a minimum of twice each month. Participating students are currently mentored by two and four-year faculty and industry representatives. So far, the research has been conducted during the summer months and the academic year on life support and sustainable living projects for NASA, the U.S. Coast Guard, medical facilities, such as the CT’s Children’s Medical Center, and industry partners such as Hamilton Sundstrand and Kaman Aerospace. As a result of these research projects, the community college and four-year faculty are implementing real-world life support and sustainable living projects and collaboratively are writing multi-media Project-Based-Case Based Learning modules, which incorporate technology and science skill standards. The Problem-Based-Case-Based multi-media modules are being piloted at the CT College of Technology’s community colleges and universities.

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