Carnegie Mellon University

Green Design Apprenticeship Program

Since 2004, the Green Design Institute at Carnegie Mellon University has offered the Green Design Apprenticeship Program for local high school students.  The program is part of a broader apprenticeship program, the AIU3 Gifted and Talented Apprenticeship Program, organized by the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, a regional educational service agency of the Pennsylvania Department of Education.  The AIU Apprenticeship Program couples students with professionals in many fields to explore future career possibilities.  The goal of the Green Design Apprenticeship is to expose high school students to the field of engineering and its various disciplines, but also to the connections between engineering and environmental and social issues. Students who select the Green Design Apprenticeship typically excel at science and math.  These students have a strong desire to learn more about engineering careers, as they otherwise have little exposure to the field, its academic requirements, or potential career paths for engineers.  Most students also have a strong interest in environmental issues, but some have interest in more traditional civil engineering areas, such as structural design or transportation.

Participating students, approximately 20 in each cohort, spend 4 days over three months with Green Design researchers and graduate students.  The students spend one of the days examining systems thinking, current interdisciplinary engineering problems, and frameworks for solving them. The second day centers on transportation and related issues with fuel consumption and carbon emissions, and investigating alternative vehicles and fuels. A third day examines advances in green building infrastructure using the grounds and buildings of the Carnegie Mellon University campus as examples. The fourth day is spent on electricity and energy generation, consumption, sources, and environmental impacts.

High school students in Allegheny Intermediate Unit 3 schools who would like to participate in the program should contact their high school guidance counselor or math/science teacher, or the AIU3 Gifted and Talented Apprenticeship Program directly for information and application requirements.

Schedules for the 2005-2006 program are available. However, the program changes each year based on the current research agenda of the Green Design Institute.  For more information about the content of the program and access to in-class materials, please contact Deanna Matthews (dhm at