Work in Progress: When Service-Learning is a Failure

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Source

Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education 35th Annual Conference


During the winter 2005 semester, students in the Introduction to Materials Laboratory participated in a service-learning project involving the failure analysis of a chimney of an energy efficient cook stove used in developing countries. This project was managed through the University of Dayton's ETHOS program (engineers in technical humanitarian opportunities of service learning).

In this project, students learned how to conduct a failure analysis, how to operate various equipment including a microscope, how to do metallography, and to interpret the results and gain a better understanding of basic material properties and high temperature corrosion. Additionally, students learned how to manage a project, interpret photographic and numerical data, conduct research, write a report, make a presentation and communicate with "clients."

It was hoped that the students would gain a better understanding of both the cultural and technical requirements of the stove and chimneys as well as an understanding of appropriate technology. This paper summarizes the project and provide some qualitative information regarding the usefulness of this project at meeting the educational goals of the course.

Inclusive pages

F4F-16 to F4F-17




Permission documentation is on file.



Place of Publication

Indianapolis, IN