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News Release

Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
3003 N. Charles Street, Suite 100
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-3843
Phone: (410) 516-7160
Fax (410) 516-5251

October 22, 2003
MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Steinberg, Exec. Dir.
Part-Time Programs in Engineering and
Applied Science, 301-294-7070

Part-Time Engineering Students Can Take
'Virtual' Field Trips

Classes in Water and Ecology Topics Feature Online Tours
of Treatment Plants, Nature Areas

Part-time graduate students enrolled in online courses in The Johns Hopkins University's Whiting School of Engineering are now able to join in group environmental and ecological field trips without commuting or rearranging their schedules.

This autumn, in Zohreh Movahed's distance-learning course called "Principles of Water and Wastewater Treatment," students from around the world will be asked to tour their region's water treatment plants and share their pictures and findings on Web pages provided through the school's new virtual collaboration environment.

In the spring, students in Bill Hilgartner's ecology course will tap into the same virtual environment to follow him on a tour of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources' Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area in western Baltimore County.

According to online coordinator Brenda Knox, field trips are an integral component of environmental programs, and technology has now made it possible to give working adults in Johns Hopkins Part-Time Engineering Programs' online courses the same opportunities as students in the face-to-face classes.

"Most people think of distance learning as incompatible with field trips," Knox said. "By adding an interactive, virtual element to distance learning, we can change this perception and expose students to more examples and a more complex understanding of course topics."

For more information on the program's virtual connection to its part-time students, or to participate in the waste water or ecology field trips, contact Brenda Knox at 410-516-4768.

Part of The Johns Hopkins University's Whiting School of Engineering, the Part-Time Programs in Engineering and Applied Science offer master's degrees in 13 distinct disciplines, as well as undergraduate programs in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and engineering science. There are currently more than 2,200 students enrolled in PTE programs at seven education centers throughout the Baltimore/Washington area. For more information on PTE programs and functions, contact Executive Director Sarah Steinberg at 301-294-7070, visit the Web site at www.jhu.edu/pte, or e-mail pte@jhu.edu.

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