Proposal Title

SESSION 3.1: An Examination of Service Learning, Trades and Tech Practicum for BC Students: Installation of Solar Panels in Low-Income Homes in Oaxaca, Mexico

Presentation Type

Individual paper

Location

IB 1020

Start Date

4-5-2019 2:15 PM

End Date

4-5-2019 3:45 PM

Disciplines

Civic and Community Engagement | Community-Based Learning

Abstract

A British Columbia School of Trades and Technology has organized yearly International Practicums for their Electrical Foundation students in Oaxaca, Mexico, since 2012. Students and instructors have traveled each time from BC to a small rural village that lies outside the electricity grid in Oaxaca, in order to install solar panels each trip in 8 to 10 low-income homes. Each home has received a charge controller, a storage battery and a few lights. This paper will explore the impact of this experiential learning on students from BC, who participated in these practicums as well as on the people that benefited from the solar panel installations in the Oaxacan small villages. I use a qualitative exploratory approach. Data has been collected through interviews with instructors, BC students, and community members in Mexico. Data has also been collected from reflective essays by the students. There have been some anecdotal reports from students whose experience in these practicum trips has transformed the way they perceive themselves, the world, and the importance of their own work in these modest homes. This paper will explore the intersections of experience, culture, and place in students from BC, involved in this transformative experiential service learning who travel to Oaxaca. It also will examine the impact these practicum trips have had for the people benefited by these installations in their modest homes in Oaxaca.

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May 4th, 2:15 PM May 4th, 3:45 PM

SESSION 3.1: An Examination of Service Learning, Trades and Tech Practicum for BC Students: Installation of Solar Panels in Low-Income Homes in Oaxaca, Mexico

IB 1020

A British Columbia School of Trades and Technology has organized yearly International Practicums for their Electrical Foundation students in Oaxaca, Mexico, since 2012. Students and instructors have traveled each time from BC to a small rural village that lies outside the electricity grid in Oaxaca, in order to install solar panels each trip in 8 to 10 low-income homes. Each home has received a charge controller, a storage battery and a few lights. This paper will explore the impact of this experiential learning on students from BC, who participated in these practicums as well as on the people that benefited from the solar panel installations in the Oaxacan small villages. I use a qualitative exploratory approach. Data has been collected through interviews with instructors, BC students, and community members in Mexico. Data has also been collected from reflective essays by the students. There have been some anecdotal reports from students whose experience in these practicum trips has transformed the way they perceive themselves, the world, and the importance of their own work in these modest homes. This paper will explore the intersections of experience, culture, and place in students from BC, involved in this transformative experiential service learning who travel to Oaxaca. It also will examine the impact these practicum trips have had for the people benefited by these installations in their modest homes in Oaxaca.