Service Learning

Project Examples

ixa walker (2.009, Prof. David Wallace)

In fall 2009, a team of students in 2.009, a senior capstone mechanical engineering design class, developed the “ixa walker.” The walker was created with the collaboration of senior citizens at the Visiting Nurse Association of Somerville in order to allow residents to live independently. Team members created a gear mechanism which allows the walker to lower and raise, helping seniors lift themselves out of chairs.

Low-cost housing in Hawaii (4.170, Prof. Jan Wampler)

In fall 2009, students in Jan Wampler’s Architecture Design Studio worked with the Kohala Center in Hawaii to design low cost housing for organic farmers. Working on donated land, the class took on several projects: designing individual dwellings, as well as designing a plan for the 170 acre plot. The dwellings are low cost, and primarily made of locally-available materials, including bamboo. The design allows for units to be modified as households change. The larger community will allow farmers to have private homes and private yards near their farms. Professor Wampler and his students spent 8 days in IAP 2010 building a model of the house.

School Design Build in Cambodia (4.493, Prof. Marilyne Andersen)

Professors Marilyne Andersen, in collaboration with John Ochsendorf and Meejin Yoon (Course 4) worked with students on design-build projects as a part of their course “Design for a Sustatinable Future.” The students worked on behalf of the Jay Pritzker Academy, near Siem Reap, Cambodia, to analyze and correct an existing structure, design a new high school to be built as a part of JPA. The students also built a kitchen-dining pavilion during their time in Cambodia during IAP 2010. More information can be found at their blog:

Past projects