Offered in the Fall semester, the Ideas Congress class allows students enrolled in a First Year Seminar or a 3rd or 4th-year independent studies course to earn credit toward their major by participating in a transdisciplinary project-based class, that often begins with the Feeding 9 Billion or Improve Life Challenge.
This class offers the chance to develop a real-life project that addresses a problem you care about, in food/sustainability/agriculture. Instructors mentor you to work on a solution to a local problem, and the class is designed to develop your confidence as a changemaker. You acquire skills that help you in the working-world: you learn to work with peers from an array of backgrounds and disciplines, problem-solve, collaborate diplomatically, and think critically about problems and solutions.
The fall semester is structured as follows:
- optional: Feeding 9 Billion or Improve Life Challenge
- Ideation and concept-testing; communication training
- Mentorship to develop & advance project ideas
- Mid-term presentations on progress
- Project development–through community engagement, independent research, and teamwork
- Mentorship and testing
- Prep for external competitions/opportunities
- Final presentations & reports