Worcester Polytechnical Institute

Two teams of students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will be working on two projects for Mujeres con Éxito and Casa Maria Amor. The students, all in their third year of studies, are completing their required Interactive Qualifying Projects (IQP) at the Cuenca project center. The IQP is a project where students work in interdisciplinary teams to solve a problem or need that lies at the intersection of science and society. Students apply natural science and engineering, as well as social science methods to solve real-world problems.

This year the WPI students will work to develop a curriculum of basic computer skills, including online safety for the women at Casa Maria Amor. We expect the project to result in a basic curriculum, with training materials and materials for instructors to help the women at Casa Maria Amor and Mujeres con Éxito gain skills that will help them in their daily lives and in the workpace.

The second project is the development of a long-term plan for using some areas of Casa Maria Amor for sustainable agriculture in the existing greehouse and the open field. The ultimate goal is to have a working farm that will help provision the house and might also provide additional income to the foundation. Any plans will take into consideration the environmental and ecological approach that has already been used in the compound.

Students have already begun the research into approaches to similar projects around the world. They began their A-term classes on August 23. At the end of the seven-week term they then will come to Cuenca for one week of orientation and seven weeks of B-term. They begin working with the foundation, on-site from October 23 to December 14.