The Tumaini Innovation Center in Eldoret, Kenya, is an alternative primary and vocational school for former "street youth." The DeBoer Lab at Purdue has partnered with Tumaini for the last five years to develop and support integrated engineering activities for the students, which apply their learning to solve problems in their own communities. A Purdue Service Learning Grant project started in November 2018 resulted in the construction of a community gym at Tumaini. A low-cost custom made gym was designed by a team of doctoral and undergraduate students at Purdue in collaboration with Tumaini. In addition to the design and implementation, the project was integrated as a learning opportunity for the Tumaini students. The students were taught 3D modeling principles and prototyping, culminating in teams of students testing the gym equipment they have modeled using a 3D printer. The final implementation integrated the welding and machining skills they are learning, along with the engineering design process and modeling skills. During the final implementation process, three students were involved as welders overseen by a locally appointed technician by the center. As the implementation progressed, one of the students exhibited higher engineering and leadership skills, growing to the role of supervising the project. In this research study, we investigate the experiences of the student leaders at Purdue and Tumaini in their transformation, and how they applied the engineering knowledge in practice. The main factors that led the Purdue and Tumaini student to take on a leadership role were to gain experience in the field, to demonstrate their ability, and the level of self-confidence and the confidence that their mentors had in them
Napoli, Alessandra; Nyaga, Kevin; Radhakrishnan, Dhinesh; and DeBoer, Jennifer J.
"Students Becoming Supervisors: Student Transformation during a Cross-National, Collaborative Community Engineering Project,"
Purdue Journal of Service-Learning and International Engagement: Vol. 7
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/pjsl/vol7/iss1/18