Pavlis Institute - Into India Projects 2016

Institution: Michigan Technological University
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Why This Project Is Important 

This project will improve local primary and higher secondary schools, making it a better environment for students. We will work with schools to help further the quality based on their own individual needs, so that students have a positive view of school and have a true desire to further their education. To do so, we would provide a degree of education that would also aid the local populace. For example, we would teach the students the importance of energy and water conservation, and integrate our education into the work we do on other projects.

Project Description 

The Pavlis Institute exists to inspire and prepare Michigan Technological University students to become global leaders who challenge themselves, work effectively on diverse teams, and achieve their goals through life-changing courses, projects, mentorships, and international experience. India was piloted by Pavlis for the first time in 2012 and the needs of India continue to provide Pavlis students with real-life challenges to address.


Several projects will be explored while in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. These projects will consist of research into the daily lives and needs of the locals. Through human centered design, the team will research what the locals of Chennai really need. The information that we will discover will be used to create possible solutions for problems that will arise in the near future. Additional projects based on past human centered design research will be explored and implemented. These projects, focused on improvements for Government Higher Secondary School Kunnankulathur, include creating a play area for the children made from recycled materials, checking on the efficiency of a biochar water filtration system that was previously installed, looking into a small solar powered fan system to keep the classrooms cool in the heat, installing a composting system and integrating the decomposition cycle into science lesson plans -- stressing the importance of sustainability and "thinking green" to the young students. We are working to establish solid relationships with other struggling rural schools like this one in an effort to aid them in receiving increased government funding. This school is passionate about ensuring success and continued education for their students. By focusing on the youth, a generation of educated and passionate students can be inspired to address vital issues in their country.

In a land that values a rich and long history, students traveling to India will learn hands on how to thrive in a different culture.


Since our first teams have arrived in Tamil Nadu, we have been working at the higher secondary government school in Kunnankulathur. We have completed repairs and testing on the biochar filter, finding that it is filtering E. coli and cholera properly. We were also able to create a compost system to help the school get rid of trash while helping trees grow. We had also discovered a need for fences around trees so they can grow. By having healthy trees, the campus will have a lot more shade to relax and do work in. We have also explored many schools in the Madurai area. We have spoken to the schools and they have identified many needs such as water filters, a wall around the campus, help teaching English, and a good computer system. These struggles will continue to be further explored by future Pavlis travel groups.


Meet the Researchers

Alessandro Fitzsimmons

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Evan Fernandez

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of $2,000 fund goal
The average donation for this project is $35
days left
Funding is Closed

What Your Donation Can Help Us Do: 

  • Your donation will help fund the underfunded primary school to offer an improved environment for their students and ensure them the best education possible.
  • Build a playground for the children to encourage them to be active and healthy. The school hired their first PE teacher this past year in an effort to teach the students how to be active on their own.
  • Invest in research to install a composting system to help alleviate garbage issues for a cleaner campus.
  • Purchase solar hanging light bulbs for rural families to test out so their children can study at night. Most rural communities have no way of lighting their homes and neighborhoods after the sun goes down.
  • Help us provide the students with an America Day that includes fun American toys and a sample of American foods.
  • Purchase teaching aids to encourage the students to learn English as a second language, not just memorize it.
Although there are no rewards for this project, all donors will receive an email receipt with tax-deduction information.

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Gifts to projects listed on SUPERIORIDEAS.ORG are received and processed by Michigan Tech Fund. Michigan Tech Fund is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code acting on behalf of Michigan Technological University. It is the policy of Michigan Tech Fund that a portion of the gifts and/or income therefrom may be used to defray the costs of raising and administering the funds.