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A Classroom Leaves the Syllabus to the Students Published: July 19, 2014

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — The scene in a cavernous building atop a forested hill here resembles a brainy, free-form summer camp, or a loft where twentysomethings meet to pursue esoteric dreams, the New York Times reports. It does not look like the usual notion of college.

A few Lehigh University students turn out prosthetic hands on a 3-D printer. Yards away, another group studies the breeding habits of endangered fish darting around wading pools, and yet another pieces together a film about a Polish poet. Most of the students here are pursuing their own projects — about 30 in all — and finding their own way, with little faculty input and with nothing more at stake than testing their own ambition, skills and curiosity.

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