WPI is recognized and pursued for its Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP). Working at the intersection of science and technology, interdisciplinary teams of students tackle real-life problems to help address the world’s most pressing technological and societal challenges.
The IQP process culminates in Poster Presentation Day where teams are judged by an esteemed panel of WPI faculty, staff, alumni, and friends. Of the hundreds of teams completing IQPs annually, Therapeutic Gardening: Advancing a Healing Garden Program and Partnership is a first-place winner for their project’s outstanding focus on science, technology, and society. The IQP team created an overarching strategic plan for healing garden programming and development and advanced a partnership with a local organization serving a vulnerable population. Team members conducted interviews, visited healing gardens, read peer-reviewed literature, and examined award-winning gardens to gather expertise about healing garden design elements, therapeutic horticulture activities, and design process.
Teammates Matthew Adams ‘22, Christopher Davenport ‘22, Mairead O’Neill ‘22, and Ciara Young ’22 recently reflected on their IQP experience. O’Neill shares, “My IQP experience made me a more empathetic person and has heightened my desire to help others. It also taught me the impact that a sense of community and purpose can have on someone’s life.” She added, “The most meaningful part of the experience was getting to work with the incredible people at our sponsor organization, the Healing Garden Institute (HGI). They were so knowledgeable about therapeutic gardening, and their passion for helping others was contagious!”