“Every day, I get to see from a different perspective and tackle problems in a new way.”

—Ishpreet Singh, Class of 2021, Mechanical Engineering Major

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Ishpreet Singh didn’t expect to spend so much of his time in college thinking about playground equipment, but it’s been a preoccupying issue in one of his classes.

That’s because Singh is a member of the A. James Clark Scholars Program at Johns Hopkins, which aims to train students in engineering, business, leadership, and community service. During the 2018-19 academic year, the Clark Scholars partnered with Barclay Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore to host science and technology expos and to improve the public school’s playground.

It’s an opportunity for Singh and other Clark Scholars to learn about design and business. After determining the client’s needs, the scholars will devise plans for improving the tot lot, whether by replacing black top and hardscaping, replacing or repairing benches, or custom-designing playground equipment themselves. They’ll pitch their proposals to the school leadership and help usher the project through completion.

“Before I came to Hopkins I thought I wasn’t interested in business,” Singh says. “But through the Clark Scholars Program, I got to see how engineering and business is an interconnected, flowing system. And it’s great to work with the students at Barclay and see how they come up with ideas because of who they are and what they see that I never would have come up with. Every day, I get to see from a different perspective and tackle problems in a new way.”

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