Pavlis Institute - India Projects 2017

Institution: Michigan Technological University
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Why This Project Is Important 

Every year students in the Pavlis Honors College at Michigan Tech travel to foreign countries for a five week international experience where they learn about themselves and the communities in which they are living. While there, students work together to impove the lives of those communities. This year, we are travling to Chennai, India. This project will improve local primary and higher secondary schools, making it a better environment for students. We will work with Kunnankulathur, a school outside the Chennai area, 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.

We appreciate any and all sizes of donations; every dollar will help us build a more sustainable future - one small step at a time.

Project Description 

SOLAR: We as a team are going to attempt to fund solar projects in the local village. There are two main projects, the first is to put solar streetlamps allowing for the village streets to be self sustained and allow for individuals to be productive even at the later times of the day. The second is to power the school using solar panels. The solar panels will supply the school with a more reliable source of electricity than the current Indian electrical grid which often goes out at inopportune times. The solar array will supply the school with cooling fans, lights, and even take home batteries to supply the families of these school kids with electricity in their own home.

GARDEN: The school currently has a composter system in place but they don't have a garden to use it with. With notes from the students who traveled to Kunnankulathur, we have a location and dimensions to plan the garden with. While in country, we will work the group who will be in charge of maintaining the garden while prepping the area, building the foundation and placing the fencing. We are also doing research on what plants would be suitable for their environment and communicating with a professor from the school to learn about what the community would like to have.

WATER FILTER: There is currently a three tiered filter system in place where the final tier goes through a biochar filter. The biochar is in need of replacement so during our time in India, we will focus on making the biochar with the individuals who maintain the water filter system. We are also exploring ways to make the current system lighter as it is currently located on one of the roofs of the school buildings. The weight of the system is beginning to show signs of wear and tear so we're hoping to transform the system into a two-tier system or find a new location to implement the system.

WATER PIPES: The current state of the schools water pipes is in disarray. The current pipe system in the school is falling leaking and cumbersome. With the money gained though donations we can repair their system. Currently the system leaks, gives out poor water pressure, and has the potential to cave in one of the roofs. They desperately need repair and we can do some great work with some very rudimentary costs and tools.

EDUCATION: We will be planning lessons for the middle school students at Kunnankulathur. While in India, we will be performing two science lessons: one based off of the composter and garden system that will be finalized while we are there and the other being of one around water filtration. We are also planning an American culture lesson that includes lots of pictures.

Meet the Researchers

Nichole Mackey

Nichole is majoring in software engineering and minoring in economics at Michigan Technological University. Nichole is part of the Pavlis Institute under the gobal pathway in the Pavlis Honors College travelling to India the summer of 2017.

Sarah Wade

Sarah is a student at Michigan Tech studying electrical and computer engineering.

Julian Gabriel

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Brianna Neeb

Bri is a third year Scientific and Technical Communications student from Clarksville, MI. She is minoring in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

Marcello Guadagno

Marcello Guadagno is a senior standing Mechanical Engineer with minors in Aerospace Engineering and International Leadership

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of $1,750 fund goal
The average donation for this project is $88
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Funding is Closed

What Your Donation Can Help Us Do: 

  • Purchase supplies and materials to help cover the costs of improve the school environment with solar panels, gardens, water filters, water pipes, and educational materials.
Although there are no rewards for this project, all donors will receive an email receipt with tax-deduction information.

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