Engaged Curriculum Grants

The Professional Practice of Entrepreneurship

Taking an interdisciplinary approach to social entrepreneurship by creating an aquaponics system for growing organic vegetables and fish in Chile.

Universities are often tasked with preparing undergraduate students for professional practice, but the worlds of the academy and the workplace are very different. This project bridges those worlds by offering students the experience of social entrepreneurship. Students combine their engineering knowledge with developing expertise in finance, marketing, management and cross-culture communication, all to create a functioning aquaponics system that produces organic vegetables and fish for local markets in Puerto Varas, Chile. The long-range plan is to help the village become more self-sufficient by generating an ongoing revenue stream. Students gain insight into how self-directed learning and interdisciplinary work are foundational to entrepreneurship, and in the process they begin to experience their professional selves.

Grant type: Development (2017-18), Planning (2016-17)

The Team

  • Michael Ben Timmons, Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering
    College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Richard Evans, Engineering Communications Program
    College of Engineering
  • John W. Sipple, Department of Development Sociology, New York State Center for Rural Schools, Cornell Community and Regional Development Institute
    College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • John Callister, Harvey Kinzelberg Entrepreneurship in Engineering Program
    College of Engineering
  • Community partner: Fundación Chile
  • Community partner: SOS Children’s Villages

Related Links

SOS Aquaponics website


Engaged Curriculum Grants

Funding teams that are integrating community engagement into new and existing curricula.

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