The Lemelson Engineering Internship is an 8-week engineering design program that gives students first-hand exposure to design for health in resource-limited settings. Each year, students are selected from each of the Rice 360° Invention Education workstream affiliated institutions (Rice University, Dar Es Salaam Institute of Technology, Malawi University of Science and Technology, University of Malawi- The Polytechnic, University of Lagos and the University of Ibadan) to attend the program. Students either stay at their university to host other students or travel to other host institutions’ Design Studios for an international and interdisciplinary experience.
As manager of the DIT Design Studio, I create the curriculum and run the Lemelson Internship in Tanzania. Below is a description of the program and impact thus far.
The program in Tanzania begins with three sessions to prepare students to tackle identified needs:
1. Technical Skills Workshops - students learn hands-on skills during problem based workshops
2. Human-centered Design Thinking workshops - students learn design thinking methods. Learn through working through a problem identified on campus.
3. In-situ needsfinding - students visit local hospitals and engage with clinicians, staff and patients to identify problems.
Thereafter, students work in teams to apply human centered design thinking methods and fabrication techniques taught in the Design Studio to create functional solutions to identified problems.
local hospitals impacted.