Washington, D.C.

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Washington, D.C. is the capitol of the United States of America, and has been the center of political and governmental movements since the beginning. Because it is the center of the U.S. government many federal organizations are based in D.C. WPI took advantage of this and began partnering with many of these organizations, resulting in students having opportunities to impact the real world.

The 1970’s were a tumultuous time, the Vietnam War was still raging while American troops were pulled out, the Watergate scandal was unfolding, there was a large-scale oil crisis, President Nixon established the EPA because it was discovered that automotive emissions were harmful, and the fight for women’s rights was still strong.

In the wake of all of these societal issues, Washington, D.C., was still chosen by WPI because it presented a significant number of first hand opportunities for students to see how science and technology can influence public policy.

“The whole idea behind the IQP … was that it would be irresponsible to graduate engineers and scientists who hadn’t thought deeply about the impact of technology and science on people and how human values and needs should shape the the development of technology in the advance of science”

– Rick Vaz, Director, Center for Project-Based Learning

By participating in a project center in Washington, WPI students would have a unique opportunity to be at the center of many of the great issues of their time.