Shifting Rhythms

News: Blues Guitar to Get Mod Makeover in Mobile Education Units Aug. 22, 2017

Olin/Babson/Wellesley Student Team Wins $25,000 Grant from Ford Motor Company Fund for Community Project Aug. 2, 2017

Student lead: Aditi Joshi

Student major: Engineering: design

Two years’ field work by six Affordable Design and Entrepreneurship students provided insights to meet local leaders’ goals to empower young people with necessary 21st century skills. Expanding and strengthening after-school programs, the grant will fund a pilot project for 6 months to test the business model and guitar-making curriculum for five after-school programs in Coahoma County, Mississippi.

Participants would experience design thinking, computer-based design, digital and traditional fabrication, rapid prototyping, product development and business planning. The school districts believe the elements of design, arts and entrepreneurship will broaden educational and career opportunities.

Mobility is key to sharing resources among community stakeholders, who lack public transportation as well as social mobility. The 12-week guitar-building program will rotate throughout the county, estimated to reach 100 students a year. Weekly pop-up activities in various public spaces will reach 1,200-1,500 youth per year. The overall annual forecast is to hire 8-10 students as peer mentors, developing 5-10 student entrepreneurs. Sustainability additionally exists in a hybrid model of after-school programs sustained by grants and selling products. Additionally, the Carnegie Public Library has committed to supporting the project, including hiring a local program director.