Tech Community Goes Global during Spring Break

With spring break giving students a week off from classes, they’ll scatter to locations all over the world to enjoy their time off; however, for many students, the week away from regular responsibilities is not necessarily a break.

Students Spring Break in Nicaragua
Click image to enlarge

Students from Civil and Environmental Engineering spend Spring Break 2013 in Nicaragua with a course called Environmental Technology in the Developing World. Image courtesy of Environmental Technology in the Developing World.

In support of the Institute’s motto of “progress and service,” several organizations and departments coordinate spring break trips that enable students to lend their time off to those in need. This year, students will represent Tech in locations across the western hemisphere, performing activities such as testing water quality, constructing houses, and building relationships with residents in remote communities. 

Here are some of the initiatives Yellow Jackets are undertaking during the next several days:

Alternative Spring Breaks | Concord, N.C.; Jacksonville Beach, Fla.; Biloxi, Miss.; Tom’s River, N.J.

This group’s activities will include building and repairing homes, volunteering at food banks and homeless shelters, and assisting at soup kitchens and with Hurricane Sandy disaster relief efforts. Follow two of the students on Twitter.

Baptist Collegiate Ministries | Bowling Green, Ky.; Nashville, Tenn.

Students will serve at places such as a therapeutic horse riding facility, the Nashville Rescue Mission, and a coffee house for men in alcohol and drug recovery programs. This trip has the added element of emphasizing the growth of friendships between American and international participants.

Baptist Collegiate Ministries | Carnesville, Ga.; Rogersville, Tenn.

A separate group of BCM students will provide construction help for families and churches struggling financially.

Campus Christian Fellowship | Northern Mexico

Students will help build a house with the organization Casas por Cristo, which has built thousands of houses in Mexico.

Catholic CenterSchool of Civil and Environmental Engineering/GTCEE4803 | Nicaragua

Academic and extracurricular efforts will complement each other in this endeavor. Students enrolled in CEE4803, Environmental Technology in the Developing World, choose areas of focus for applying environmental technology to solve issues in underdeveloped regions worldwide. This year, the group will focus on water modeling of chlorine in a water distribution system, improving an aquaponics system, and measuring air and water quality. In the same community, students from the Catholic Center will partner with Amigos for Christ to drill a well and dig waterlines to help get clean water to homes, all while building relationships with residents. Follow the CEE class on Facebook or Twitter.

Engineers Without Borders at Georgia Tech | Black Mesa, Navajo Nation, Ariz.

The Tech Engineers Without Borders chapter will work with the nonprofit Forgotten People to help people of the Navajo Nation. Water in the immediate area is contaminated from past nuclear testing, so clean water is trucked in monthly. Students will collect data, conduct a health assessment, and work with the community on ways to maximize water use. The long-term goal is to increase access to clean water for the region, with this trip setting a baseline for designs. 

Trailblazers | Assateague Island National Seashore, Md.; New River Gorge National River, W.V.; Biscayne National Park, Fla.

The activities of this group will involve rebuilding damaged areas from Hurricane Sandy in Maryland; trail and park maintenance in West Virginia; and beach cleanup for sea turtles in Florida. 

Wesley Foundation | Eleuthera, Bahamas

Wesley Foundation members will travel with peers from the University of West Georgia to build homes in impoverished communities. They’ll work with Bahamas Methodist Habitat in this area that faced devastation from Hurricane Sandy and dramatic economic downturns in its two largest industries: tourism and international banking.