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Ignite: Empowering students to use STEM solutions to address needs in their communities
Description/achievement of initiative

The Ignite project strives to democratize project-based STEM learning. The educational initiative stemmed from a realization that innovative, technology-based design thinking is often limited to classrooms at elite private schools and universities. Ironically, however many of the most pressing design challenges exist in communities where access to these skills sets is limited. Thus, the novel Ignite curriculum was developed to give students an opportunity to solve community-relevant problems that pertain to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Implementation methodologies

Implementation will begin by establishing collaborative relationships with academic directors and teachers. Then, students will identify the real-world problems based on the scenarios presented to them and in the process learn about pressing global challenges. Next, they will collaborate to frame a concrete design challenge and project timeline with guidance from mentors; create design sketches and find materials. Students learn the technical skills as they assemble and test their prototype. After reflecting on their results and feedback, students will adjust their prototype. Finally, students will present their product as a solution to a community-relevant problem. Pre- and post- assessments will indicate changes in attitude and understanding. Formative assessments will help monitor participation and progress. After implementation, students will have an opportunity to continue their involvement by either teaching the curricula to future students and, or by participating in additional design challenges.

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

The unique "train-the-trainer" model allows passionate students to teach their peers and become leaders. Furthermore, the model allows the Ignite program to be scalable and sustainable.

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure

The Ignite curricula will be governed by the Center of Global Women's Health Technologies at Duke University and FUNDEGUA. The initiative will be implemented virtually in the U.S.A., Guatemala and Peru. Research conducted by Duke University will measure the efficacy of a human-centered, design-thinking STEM curricula for skill development and agency.


Duke University and FUNDEGUA
Progress reports
Goal 3
Goal 4
Goal 5
Goal 6
Goal 7
Engage 100 students or more in the Ignite curricula
Staff / Technical expertise
Ignite personnel from Duke Univeristy and FUNDEGUA are dedicated the initiative

Basic information
Time-frame: 2016 - 2025
Duke University and FUNDEGUA
Contact information
Kim Breen, Research Associate, kimberly.breen@duke.edu
United Nations