The global market for smart cities is growing exponentially. Emerging technologies such as automation, ICT, IoT, and AI can promote livability, productivity, and sustainability of cities. However, there is a significant shortage of professionals, who can serve as “bridge persons” between technology and communities’ needs and are passionate about improving the quality of life using technologies. There is also considerable misalignment between universities’ curriculum and community needs for emerging technologies.

Project ENDEAVR will address such a gap. It stands for Envisioning the Neo-traditional Development by Embracing the Autonomous Vehicles Realm. It is an interdisciplinary project-based learning platform that connects students from the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) disciplines with industries and communities.

Our novel pedagogical model, ENDEAVRX, includes an interdisciplinary seminar course, an interdisciplinary project-based learning course, community outreach, and assessment of learning and community impact. The model helps students develop interdisciplinary competence, critical thinking, and creative-problem-solving skills. Student projects turn technologies from the industry into smart solutions for challenges such as climate change, transportation, aging population, governance, economic growth, and social inclusion. ENDEAVRX can be implemented in other higher-education institutions, and thus transform the nation’s interdisciplinary undergraduate education in the era of smart and connected communities.