In a world where schools are asking students to be standard, there often aren’t opportunities for them to reach beyond and push the horizons of their curiosity — or their potential. Even for students like Venya, who come from schools that provide after-school academic clubs, the scope is often limited to traditional subject areas. To spend two weeks exploring bioengineering at EXPLO — a multidisciplinary subject most students don’t even have access to until college or graduate school — was already a dream come true. Then she received her project prompt for the session: to create a prosthetic hand device using empathy-based design thinking. Empathy was no problem. Venya’s grandfather, a professor in India who splits time between the U.S. and U.K, was a recent partial amputee following cancer and a severe infection. The only problem was, it was his foot — not his hand — that required a prosthetic solution.
“At school it’s just a regular program that everyone has to take. Here you get to explore outside of the curriculum and learn what you want to learn — and that’s so unique to this program ,” Venya says. “I don’t think I’ll ever stop anymore. I’m so excited about what’s going on and there are so many things I want to try. I know even when school starts I’m going to find a way to contact professors or colleges around me to keep pursuing my idea.”
Did You Know? Educators from around the world come to EXPLO throughout the year to learn and practice our approach to teaching and learning. We’ve worked with schools, foundations, and nonprofit organizations from Boston to Baltimore to
Not a problem at EXPLO.
Bangalore, India, to make learning more creative and engaging for all students.
Venya approached her instructor and the curriculum designer, asking if she could instead design a shoe that would allow her grandfather to walk with less pain and greater ease. Within the day, they connected her with EXPLO’s makerspace director across campus and they began to hatch a plan.
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