A person's hands trimming plants

Creative Inquiry

Lehigh offers many opportunities to pursue new intellectual, creative and artistic pathways that lead to transformative new innovations, expressions and questions. Students, faculty and external partners collaborate as co-creators propelling their projects forward on the journey toward tangible and sustainable impact.

Office of Creative Inquiry

The most impactful innovations often start with simple questions posed by curious minds. The Office of Creative Inquiry supports a wide range of initiatives that help students and faculty increase their capacities for independent inquiry, take intellectual risks and learn from failure, collaborate, recognize important problems and opportunities, and effect constructive and sustainable change. Learn more >

Students working at a computer

LearnX, MakeX, SprintX

Series of hands-on workshops where students have fun while learning something (how the stock market works, how to use a laser cutter, how to speak in public), making stuff (poetry, Halloween costumes, sheet metal roses), and sprinting through complex questions (How can we help refugees? What business opportunities might emerge in 2040?).

CI Projects

Students earn academic credit for pursuing new lines of inquiry: What is the future of Bitcoin? Can a sculpture “read” and interpret your social media profile? How do we grow food on the moon? In a world of limitless questions, we provide resources to help you pursue the answers.

Inquiry to Impact Projects

Multidisciplinary teams of students, faculty, and external partners pursue creative and innovative answers to the world’s challenges and open-ended questions. These projects span the journey from creative inquiry to sustainable impact across multiple semesters.

Mountaintop Summer Experience

The 10-week summer program allows faculty, students, and external partners to take interdisciplinary deep dives along new intellectual, creative and artistic pathways. Members of this community of doers, thinkers, and creators encourage and challenge one another on the path toward excellence and impact.

Spaces for Creative Inquiry

At Lehigh, we have a growing network of open and accessible Creative Spaces, often with associated subcultures, that support learning, research, engagement, and all kinds of creative endeavors. Learn more about the Creative Spaces Network >

Students gathered at Wilbur Powerhouse

Wilbur Powerhouse

This 17,000-square-foot “Maker Space” in the heart of the Asa Packer Campus gives students and faculty the tools and resources to go from idea to physical concept.

Inside Building C

Building C

The newly renovated Building C serves as the interdisciplinary hub for creation and research of all kinds. From its roots as the R&D home for Bethlehem Steel, this building has creative inquiry in its DNA, and now it is ready for use by next-gen doers and makers.

Sculpture outside Zoellner Arts Center

Zoellner Arts Center

The home for Lehigh’s departments of Music and Theatre and the LU Art Galleries, as well as a premier series of touring artists and performers from all over the world.

Programs and Centers That Support Creative Inquiry

Academic programs, research centers, and offices support Lehigh students and faculty as they engage with communities and diverse partners in South Bethlehem and the Lehigh Valley, in local K-12 systems, and in countries around the world.

Center for Community Engagement

Center for Community Engagement

The CCE mobilizes university-community partnerships to address societal challenges, promotes knowledge and research for the common good, and helps cultivate engaged citizens. The CCE offers many opportunities for community-engaged learning, research, and social innovation. Visit the Center for Community Engagement >

Fish

Sustainable Development Program

The SustDev program offers academic courses as well as opportunities to engage in research, fieldwork, and social entrepreneurship in developing countries. Learn more about the Sustainable Development Program >

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Humanities Center

The Humanities Center fosters vibrant intellectual inquiry and diffuses the energies of such inquiry into the broader culture of Lehigh’s campus. Visit the Humanities Center >

A student speaking to a group

Education Research Centers

The College of Education hosts three research centers—the Centennial School, the Center for Promoting Research to Practice, and the Center for Developing Urban Educational Leaders—traversing the journey from inquiry to impact. Learn more about the education research
centers >

A student sculpting a head made of clay

Arts at Lehigh

The departments of Theatre; Music; and Art, Architecture and Design provide opportunities for Lehigh students to express their creative energies through performance, theoretical study, and collaborative artistic projects.
Visit the Theatre Department >
Visit the Music Department >
Visit the Art, Architecture and Design
Department >

 

Inquiry to Impact

Lehigh students receive a world-class experiential education that integrates learning, research, and engagement to develop skill sets and mindsets, confidence and humility, passion and grit for a rapidly changing world. Students build capacities for pursuing new intellectual and creative pathways and transforming ideas and inquiries into tangible impacts that improve the human condition.

  • Tangible Impact

    Addressing Global Health Challenges

    An interdisciplinary group of students have teamed up to make a global impact. Bioengineers Natalee Castillo ‘19, Morgan Gillies ‘20 and DeSales University student Christian Pardo along with behavioral neuroscience major, Cassidy Drost ‘20 are developing affordable UTI test strips for women in rural areas of Sierra Leone to help decrease risks from undetected UTIs amongst pregnant women.

    Demonstrating UTI test strips
  • Tangible Impact

    Lasting Impacts on Our Community

    How can you redesign parking spots to improve walkability and support small businesses? A Lehigh team is piloting low-cost parklets that provide not just outdoor dining space but also free libraries, bike racks, outdoor gyms, and community gardens to revitalize South Side Bethlehem.

    Students working on a parklet made of wood pallets
  • Tangible Impact

    Enhancing Sustainability

    A research team in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering developed a sustainable manufacturing process to convert dry walls (gypsum) into fertilizer and reduce NH3 emissions. This decrease has implications for a sustainable, global solution to managing the nitrogen cycle.

    Students looking out into a field