2012-2013 Student Projects

Mentors for the Ypsilanti Youth Orchestra (Ypsilanti, Michigan)
The Mentors for the Ypsilanti Youth Orchestra are UM students from the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance partnering with a local non-profit to teach underrepresented and at risk youth in the local community after the orchestral program was cut from their public school system. In addition to providing instruction to small groups of young people every Saturday, the students aim to increase their own teaching experience to supplement their university education and to provide much needed supplies to this community program.

Check out their Facebook page for the latest updates.

Pantanal Partnership Alternative Energy (The Pantanal Region, Brazil)
The Pantanal Partnership Alternative Energy team was formed to develop a sustainable, low-cost source of energy that communities throughout the rural Pantanal region of Brazil can build themselves with basic instruction. Team members will implement wind turbine systems in two communities in the Pantanal while teaching construction workshops.

Pantanal Partnership Water Systems (The Pantanal Region, Brazil)
The Pantanal Partnership is committed to minimizing the challenges of rural living in the Pantanal region of Brazil through building and installing biosand water filtration systems in local schools. Last year, with Institute seed funding, the Pantanal Partnership was able to increase the number of water filtration systems and schools who received the filtration systems. This summer, the team will install biosand filters at two more schools and conduct more comprehensive workshops at each site. In addition, the Water Systems Team will begin implementing a large scale water purification system in two small communities which will include preliminary water testing, education about the importance of clean water, and additional research into the community structure.   

The Kenya Project (The Kithoka Region, Kenya)
The Kenya Project aims to conduct a social entrepreneurship project in the Kithoka region of Kenya by working alongside a research team from the UM Medical School that travels to this region every year. The undergraduate team will brainstorm with their Kenyan partners potential innovative services, products, or businesses that might help improve the local economy and identify potential ideas that could be converted into successful entrepreneurial ventures in this region.

The Last Mile: Connecting Transportation Systems for a Sustainable Future (Brazil, China, India, South Africa)
The Last Mile seeks to make sustainable transportation “trending” among a much wider audience by leading a groundbreaking web campaign, producing a series of videos, and maintaining a blog to help shift perceptions and mindsets concerning sustainable transportation. The purpose of The Last Mile is to better tell the story of sustainable transportation and new mobility in ways that are interesting, shareable, and human. Their organizational partner will be SMART, Sustainable Mobility & Accessibility Research & Transformation, a project of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. Click here to learn more about their project, including numerous photos and reflections.