Case study on community-based learning: toy design project for children in Egyptian squatter community

Lamyaa El-Gabry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction to Engineering is the first engineering course American University in Cairo students take upon admission to the engineering program. It is required of students in all disciplines of engineering. It is a one-credit-hour course that covers topics including history of engineering, engineering fields of specializations, the engineering profession, engineering communications, engineering ethics, and societal obligations. Community-based learning (CBL) was introduced into the course via the required course project. The project was to design toys for children at a school in a disadvantaged squatter community in Old Cairo, Egypt, where infrastructure is poor and education and social mobility can be very limited. The project was carried out in partnership with a non-governmental organization based in Old Cairo. This paper shows how the introductory engineering course was redesigned to integrate CBL while meeting the stated ABET course outcomes. Included are detailed instructions on the tools and structure of the project to provide an example for others wishing to adapt some of these tools to other courses. The paper presents the outcome assessments and survey results to evaluate the project’s success at meeting the stated outcomes and includes a discussion on the benefits to the students and the community partner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)879-894
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • General Engineering


  • Community-based learning
  • collaborative learning
  • first-year engineering
  • project based learning


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