This research describes a pilot project which aimed to introduce CDIO-type (Conceive-Design-Implement-Operate), project-based learning through a community-based project in a third year Material Science module. The project formed part of an agriculture research initiative, and relied on interdisciplinary research collaboration between engineering, social sciences, management, entrepreneurship, and industrial arts. The initiative seeks to develop an agribusiness solution that will create an open-market, growth-oriented food economy. As part of the initiative, engineering students, participating in teams, worked alongside a community of urban farmers, most of whom are working poor, so as to develop appropriate, intermediate technology/ies that could support the farmers. This was informed by the need to have students demonstrate high level understanding of disciplinary content, but also to engage in human-centered design thinking and practice.

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