Teaching design methods to improve the long-term health and well-being of developing countries.
The Future Scientist Vision
Future Scientist envisions communities with the capacity to combat existing problems. We consider engineering design methods as catalysts for change by providing a structured process for identifying and developing robust solutions. We see hands-on teaching of the design process, combined with fundamental science, health, and engineering concepts, as a key step in letting communities overcome barriers to development.
Through our Program in Sustainable Design, we teach university students and other trip participants how to apply design methods to solve real problems in rural Panama. Our trip participants work closely with local communities to identify needs, brainstorm solutions, and build prototypes. For each project, trip participants also develop a public outreach curriculum that uses hands-on science lessons to teach the community how to sustainably use and replicate their solutions. Our students’ successful projects include:
- A water storage and chlorination system for a Panamanian high school.
- A biogas digester for a rural Peruvian community.
- A chlorination kit and community outreach program in Portobelo, Panama.