This page is under construction, but some projects (just a couple!) have descriptions below. You can read more about many of our projects on our blogs.
Hope in Flight is an organic waste management project based in northern Ghana. We use the Black Soldier Fly, a species of fly indigenous to Ghana and many parts of the world, to tackle sanitation and waste accumulation issues, while providing local entrepreneurs with a new source of income. In our target community, Taha, 40% of organic waste is left out to rot, and there are currently no systems capable of processing all this waste. Our solution is to partner with local entrepreneurs, who will use our innovative bioconversion system to farm Black Soldier Fly larvae, which can convert organic waste into protein body mass with an approximately 40% efficiency. The self-harvesting pre-pupae can be processed and sold as high protein animal feed to poultry and fish farmers. This generates income for our partners while replacing a need for expensive imported feed. In this way, we hope to empower local entrepreneurs to address the poverty and massive sanitation issues in their communities. This project is currently funded by the MIT IDEAS/Global Challenge Competition, the Tau Beta Pi Service and Engineering Fellowships, and the MIT UROP office.
There are currently no educational resources to teach middle and high school students about efficient biomass stoves…our project is changing that! The Global Cookstove Education Project (GCEP) uses project-based learning to connect students from around the world through the issues of personal energy use, biomass resources, and efficient cookstoves. Pioneered in 2012 by a group of educators from 4 countries, the GCEP allows students to participate in a global educational collaboration as they investigate biomass use, build small cookstoves, test stove efficiency, and search for solutions to the health and environmental problems that arise from the fact that half the earth’s population burns wood or charcoal to meet their daily energy needs. Although still in its infancy, the GCEP has recently begun to gain traction in terms of not only educating students about biomass use issues and efficient cookstoves, but also by serving as model for the use of STEM design projects to encourage collaborations between students around the world. Visit: the website
In the spring of 2013, our team developed entrepreneurship workshops for a group of mostly illiterate wastepickers as a part of the new D-Lab: Education course. We will be introducing basic skills in math, personal finance, communication, and developing a business.
In Jan 2011, I volunteered through MIT's Public Service Center with a high school teacher who wanted to do data analysis. Knowing Excel, I remade his gradebook template to make it much more powerful. With time and many iterations, the gradebook is now online for free for teachers to use. I hope to do first-person teacher testing in summer 2013. It is downloaded over 1000/yr across the globe. See the website
In summer 2011, I worked with MIT RELATE (a physics education research group) to make/code physics questions. These questions were used in their free online mechanics course and are now available for use in EdX.
Children and young adults are some of the world's most powerful resources. Our project worked to invest in the youth by informing and inspiring local schoolchildren aged 5-15 about science and engineering through after-school hands-on activities and lessons, as well as empowering them by partnering with the local school teachers in the teaching of English. The long-term goal of the project was to promote the psychological development of the young people of La Vaquita by boosting their confidence and communication skills in hopes of encouraging them to pursue higher education. This project was funded by the Legatum Center IAP 2011 Seed Grant.
This summer I did research at Aachen University in Germany in the department of psychiatry and psychotherapy in the faculty of medicine. I investigated how aggression and impulsivity are related to the level of sex hormones in healthy female subjects. After this experience I would like to join the Fear Extinction Mechanism lab at MIT in the Brain and Cognitive Science Department. My plan is to focus on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and later on combine it with the topic of child soldiers and their reintegration into a society.
I had a semester-long internship in rural India working on issues of public and preventive health. My primary focus was on developing scalable awareness strategies for prevention of diarrhea, jaundice, dental cavities, leucorrhea, and anemia. To do this, I surveyed households and self-help groups to assess current knowledge gaps in preventive health and used this information to design a poster on Hepatitis A prevention tailored to local customs. Additionally, I collaborated with Chirag staff in working with village health committees to improve ground-level implementation of the National Rural Health Mission. While I was there, I noticed that the communities I was working in spent a few hours each day on household laundry, so I designed and built a pedal-powered washing machine with local artisans to introduce an affordable, time-saving, productivity boosting technology for rural families, especially women.
The goal of the project was to transfer an appropriate technology design from the Fully Belly project to the communities the NGO (Village Hope) had partnered with in Sierra Leone. The plan was to take the molds for casting the sheller with us and donate them to the NGO and then acquire all other materials needed locally and teach NGO workers the process of making them. The NGO would then be responsible for working with the villages. This is what was implemented.