This IAP, Twelve PSC Fellows/Interns will blog about their experiences in the field. These students will be working in Nicaragua, Cambodia, Mexico, Sierra Leone, Kenya, India, San Francisco and even in neighboring Lawrence, MA. Read their descriptions below and be sure to check the’ Student Bloggers’ tab to keep up with their adventures:
Mariko Davidson (G, Urban Studies/Planning)
Mariko Davidson will spend IAP collaborating with non-profits Groundwork Lawrence and WalkBoston on pedestrian safety issues and increasing walkability in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The project will highlight safe pedestrian routes and propose design solutions to connect people from central Lawrence to the new Spicket River Greenway path system. This proposal will be submitted to the Mayor¹s Health Task Force in a community-wide effort to create a more pedestrian-friendly environment.
Deborah Hanus (2012, Electrical Engineering and Brain/Cog Sciences)
Deborah and Alorah Harman (2011, Course 1) took an early winter trip and traveled to Cambodia, partnering with the Harpswell Foundation, a women’s dormitory and leadership center located in Tuek Thla, Phnom Penh, to teach a series of workshops aimed at fostering creativity and innovation through engineering and leadership. By teaching some of Cambodia’s most talented students how they might apply their leadership to problem-solving in engineering, aim to (a) develop a network of women equipped to solve any problem creatively, with the critical thought of an engineer, and (b) motivate more women to consider studying engineering. Stay tuned for her posts!
Shen Huang (’12, Mechanical Engineering)
Shen will travel to Nicaragua to teach farmers the benefits of drip irrigation and other appropriate technologies.
Diana Jue (G, Urban Studies/Planning)
Essmart is an essential technology retailer that gets social impact products into the hands of people whom they were designed for. During IAP 2012, Diana will travel to southern India to demonstrateproducts from Essmart’s catalogue of technologies and pilot Essmart’s concept by working with local storeowners to begin selling almost 200 technologies in 6 stores across 3 rural areas.
Sam Kornstein (G, Management) and Paul Artiuch (G, Management)
About 20-40% of the food grown in India is wasted in the upstream supply chain (i.e. before it reaches the market) largely as a result of poor transportation, electricity outages, and lack of cold storage. During IAP, Sam and Paul (who has been funded by IDI) will travel to Punjab/Delhi & Maharashtra/Pune to (1) identify and quantify the breakdowns in the supply chains that result in waste, and (2) research the economic viability and sustainability of solutions that address the problem.
Kevin Kung (G, Biological Engineering)
Kevin Kung as a part of the Takachar team, will be visiting Kibera, the largest slum in Nairobi, Kenya, with an interest in producing charcoal from organic waste. Wood charcoal is a common cooking fuel in Kibera, but unsustainable deforestation and increasing scarcity mean that charcoal is becoming more expensive. Over IAP, the Takachar team will be carrying out research on the charcoal market and supply chain, waste stream analysis, as well as initial technical prototype-testing.
Emily Lo (G, Architecture)
Emily is working with a team of students from MIT and Carnegie Mellon to establish the eLuma Development Center, which will bring electricity, entrepreneurship training, and a new marketplace to the village of Yele in Sierra Leone. This IAP, she will be partnering with the local community and the Lion Heart Foundation to begin construction by transforming recycled shipping containers into shops for the center’s first merchants.
Netia McCray (’13, Physics) and Joy Ekuta (’13, Brain and Cognitive Sciences)
Netia and Joy, along with Victoria Okukeye (’13, Brain and Cognitive Sciences) will implement Diiaki, an international collaboration program that will introduce students in Guadalajara, Mexico to the exciting opportunities available in business and engineering. Program participants will gain skills in business and engineering as well as skills in critical thinking and developing innovative ideas into real-life devices and profitable businesses that are required in order to achieve success in university and industry.
Akansh Murthy (2013, Biology)
Akansh is continuing his previous project of increasing computer literacy in southern India by teaching underprivileged students how to use computers and allowing students to have hands-on experience by assembling computers from scratch (and ultimately donating the computers to the students). I plan to expand to two new schools this IAP and start an organization that can continue to deliver the ideals of my project for future years.
Erica Simmons (G, DUSP)
Erica Simmons will spend IAP in San Francisco, California, where she will intern with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. Her project is to develop a plan for safe, accessible bike infrastructure in western Golden Gate Park and to identify key bike improvements at the entrances to Golden Gate Park. The goal of this project is to enhance recreational opportunities in San Francisco’s premiere open space and to improve the infrastructure for sustainable and affordable bike transportation.
Greg Tao (G, Mechanical Engineering) and
Over the summer of 2011, the autoclave team travelled to Nepal and distributed 15 prototype autoclaves designed to address the unique needs of primary health clinics there and in the wider developing world. Over IAP, Greg, Shambhu Koirla, and Sue Cho will work on 5 units of a second autoclave prototype, redesigned based on our learning’s from the summer, will be distributed to users in Nepal. We will also continue improving relationships with manufacturing and distribution partners and potential buyers in both Nepal and India.