Experiential Education

Like every other college, Principia has classrooms, textbooks, courses, and professors, but they work together in unique ways here. Our approach is very individualized, resulting in a more “handwrought,” experiential process. Although examples of experiential education will appear throughout your academic experience, here are two of Principia’s most-popular experiential opportunities. 

Principia Solar Car

For more than 15 years now, Principia’s solar car has been “raycing” in competitions around the world. In 2012, the car, Ra 7s, placed third in the North American Solar Challenge (ASC), ahead of much larger schools like MIT and Michigan State. Read about the ASC race and see photos from this 1,650 trek across eight states in eight days. 
Click here to read how the solar car team performed in the 2009 race in Australia.
Click here to visit the solar car website.

Ice Age Mammoth

For the past 17,000 years, an Ice Age mammoth, whom we've nicknamed “Benny," was hiding six feet below ground nestled between Rackham Court and Gehner, two College dormitories. Benny’s presence was detected in 1999 when a backhoe uncovered one of his teeth. Now this location has been transformed into a modern paleontological dig. In the spring of 2002, a geology class of 13 students uncovered two tusks and two molars. Many more bones, including the skull block, have been unearthed since then.
Click here to find out more about Principia’s Ice Age mammoth.

“I took a Sustainable Development class which focused on understanding and implementing sustainable practices.  Our major class project was the conversion of a truck from diesel to used vegetable oil. Through this project, I developed leadership skills, mechanical understanding, and an appreciation for the environment.”