Vera Chan ’16, Mzwakithi Shongwe ’16, Jia Ying Teoh ’16, Adrian Leong ’16, and Roksana Gabidulina ’16 (from left to right)
This team of students hoped to improve the quality of education in Swaziland by providing lap desks to students. This group of Middlebury students, along with their University of Chicago partners, believes that by providing a sturdy, portable surface to write on, students will be more motivated to study at school and in their homes. Along with providing the means to a better education, the team hopes this project inspired students to be innovators and create simple solutions to solve community problems.
Their $3,000 grant allowed a member of the team to travel to Swaziland, and provided for the costs of making and distributing the lap desks. The team is currently working at the Old Stone Mill to develop a solar-powered light source that would be attached to the lap desks. This advanced version of the lap desk would be distributed in more rural areas that lack electricity.