Service Learning

Project Examples

Kool Pool Table (2.009, Prof. David Wallace)

In fall 2002, a team of students in 2.009, a senior capstone mechanical engineering product design class, developed the Kool Pool table. The Kool Pool table was designed for developmentally disabled students at the Cardinal Cushing School. The curvilinear perimeter of the table permits wheelchair riders to access the table from multiple angles. The specially designed cues enable those with limited manual dexterity to play without worry. And, finally, the nature of the game encourages social interaction and builds hand-eye coordination – two learning goals the School identified for their students.

VacPac (2.009, Prof. David Wallace)

A team of 2.009 students in 2004 developed the Vac-Pac, a refrigerated backpack used to deliver vaccines to remote clinics in the developing world. Vaccines are rendered useless unless they remain between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius – a difficult feat in remote and rugged settings. Fortunately, the Vac-Pac makes this far easier. It can store up to 1200 doses of vaccine and transport them for at least 12 hours on one battery charge; it can run indefinitely with various charging and operating conditions ranging from solar power, portable gas generation, electrical outlet power, and even power from a car's cigarette adapter.

New Orleans Revitalization Plan (11.439, Karl Seidman)

Students in 11.439, students worked with New Orleans neighborhood groups to develop a economic revitalization plan. The plan demonstrated how economic development could reinforce one New Orleans neighborhood's sense of place and maintain its unique character.

Re-designed Wheelchairs (SP.784, Amos Winter)

While taking 'Wheelchair Design in Developing Countries", Tish Scolnick and team members worked to design a folding three-wheeled wheelchair. Following her term of work, she brought her design and ideas to the Mobility Care wheelchair workshop in Tanzania. During 8 weeks of work, she was able to work out the kinks in her plan and put her ideas to use!