This internship is being hosted by MIT Solve. Solve is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a mission to solve world challenges. During this internship you will receive guidance and programming from Solve in addition to your host organization.
Yiya develops resilience and creative problem-solving in African youth through experiential STEM education. We are creating the next generation of African innovators by teaching young people to use the engineering design process to apply science and math to design technologies that solve real world problems. This kind of relevant education empowers young people to view themselves as agents of change in their communities, and supports them to build a desired future.
Since 2016, Yiya students have prototyped technologies such as: bicycle-powered phone chargers, gravity-powered reading lights, edible insect farms, hand sanitizers, solar food dryers, organic pesticides, and electricity-free fridges that use evaporative cooling!
These youth lack access to running water, clean drinking water, electricity, indoor plumbing and basic sanitation infrastructure, and healthy/environmentally friendly cooking solutions. They live in an agricultural economy that experiences recurrent periods of drought and high temperatures, with limited access to post-harvest storage of crops.
We are looking for an MIT intern to help us design technology prototypes for future Yiya science units. We need a creative and resourceful student who can analyze the constraints that rural Ugandan youth face, as well as understand the complex nature of the challenges they experience in their communities everyday. Over the course of this 3.5 month internship, you will come up with 5 technology prototypes that are functional with a set of strict real-world constraints: the technology prototype must solve a local challenge that youth face in rural Uganda, use only locally available resources, use age-appropriate math, science, and technology knowledge (approximately middle school level), and function effectively by meeting specific success criteria. Some example technologies that we are seeking support on are: DIY solar cells that can power indoor lighting and charge basic keypad cell phones, small home windmills to generate electricity, biogas solutions to reduce on charcoal cooking, electricity-free efficient cooling systems to improve post-harvest storage of crops. We are open to new ideas!
Over the course of this internship you will receive intense mentorship and hands-on guidance from a small international team of experienced engineers and educators. You will get direct interaction with founders that will expose you to the international development sector and the day-to-day workings of a young organization operating on lean start-up principles. Personal growth is one of our key organizational values and we will work hard to help you meet your learning goals for this experience.
Seeking experience and skills:
- Experience and/or coursework in human-centered design
- Interest in locally-based development projects
- Skills in designing solutions within specific constraints and limited resource settings.
This is unfortunately an unpaid internship with a small social enterprise. While we are unable to pay you for your time, we hope this will be a fun and valuable experience to get an inside look into the work of social entrepreneurs and an organization that is making an impact on the world. This internship has a flexible start and end date, but would likely be over the summer with the possibility of extension.