Tag Archives: service learning

Stoves and Service

Two bits of Bucknell News intersect with some of my interests.

First, the “Service” movement for lack of a better term continues with BU showing up at an interfaith call to service the white house.  I like how food is being incorporated thematically.  We live in an agricultural area.  Plus, wasting less is just good old fashioned American thriftiness.

In contrast, students in a spring 2011 waste audit found that about 850 pounds of food per day were being discarded in Bucknell’s main dining venue, Bostwick Marketplace. Bucknell Dining has addressed the waste issue in part through a composting program and the removal of trays, but, Fujita said, there are more opportunities to help students learn about consumption and waste.

I am not sure how no trays cuts down on waste.  People take less?

I wish there were some legal/organizational way to share unused food.  People usually say they can’t give it away due to safety regulations.  Well, then, is it possible to shield more food from being un-givable?  DO we need to shift attitudes about abundant food spreads?  Or, is it possible to have a way for recipients to agree to take on the risk of food problems in exchange for access to mostly fine food?  A way to have a middleman broker of unused food?
Second, in the general theme of experiential education that links service and this story,  we have BU students working with a local manufacturer to see a super-light-weight stove come to market.  What if this was the norm instead of the exception for our students? I don’t mean they all design objects, but that they all do a project with real world potential value before they graduate.  What would that look like?  Would it produce a generation of hackers, entrepreneurs, and “makers.”

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Filed under Hacker ethic, higher education

Town-Gown Project for Planned Development

This piece from the NYT caught my eye.  Lewisburg is similar in some ways, although bigger.  Kelly township is already up and running as sprawl-driven growth.  The whole county, Union, is involved in a planning process, called cultivating community.  There are some draft plans on the website.  How effectively can it redirect te built in infrastructure and private development?

The great quote here is the professor: “a synthesis of academics and civics.”

Maybe Bucknell has faculty or classes who could engage in similar research? Does the county need or want such help?

Vermont Town Turns to College in Bid to Guide Change – NYTimes.com
Starksboro asked students from nearby Middlebury College to spend the semester interviewing its residents to document what they value most about the place. It intends to use their thoughts to influence decisions about its future.

In particular, officials here are counting on the project to help steer a revision of the town plan next year, a process that often leads to zoning-change proposals that incite bitter debate.

“The key is to project beyond immediate controversies over applications for subdivisions and to say, ‘Let’s envision the future that we would love to have,’ ” said Prof. John Elder of Middlebury, “at which point there is considerable agreement.”

The students are in a class called Portrait of a Vermont Town, which Professor Elder, who teaches it, described as a rare synthesis of academics and civics.

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Filed under Bucknell, Government, pedagogy