Impact Designs: Engineering and Sustainability through Student Service

Impact Designs: Engineering and Sustainability through Student Service (IDEASS)

IDEASS is a service-learning program designed to empower students to face challenges of the 21st century. IDEASS takes a hands-on approach to solution-driven collaboration, drawing from multiple disciplines to produce projects that combine cutting-edge technology with responsiveness to the social, ecological, and economic issues of our time

Accepting Applications for 2017-2018!

Interested students from all majors are encouraged to apply, although the program is designed for those fulfilling senior exit requirements.

How It Works

Students work together in teams with professional mentors to design and implement a project related to sustainability in this yearlong upper-division course which gives students a hands-on introduction to potential career paths in the growing green-tech economy.

IDEASS has led to many alumni being offered jobs in fields related to their projects when they graduate. At the same time, students are able to fulfill their senior exit credit for an array of majors, including Environmental Studies. For students in the new Sustainability Studies minor offered through College 8, IDEASS is now the senior capstone course.

For more information, take a look at some of our past projects here.

IDEASS Students at Zero Motocycles

Project Impacts

IDEASS students develop project objectives within their areas of interest cooperatively with community mentors and experts in the field. Community and industry partners benefit from collaboration with motivated students who have been carefully selected for participation in IDEASS.

These student-led teams, guided by a group of four UCSC IDEASS academic advisors have a strong reputation for on-time deliverables that fulfill some objective known to be important to major stakeholders. Projects usually focus on sustainable technologies and practices in the built environment, such as energy, water, food, transportation and waste.

Depending on student experience and partners’ needs, projects may use any number of approaches to address environmental concerns, such as technological innovation, education and behavior change, participatory research, policy planning, and other modes of sustainable design.


"Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I will understand"

          - Chinese Proverb