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Watch videos of UW students’ ideas for public toilets, road safety and job matches in India

Published on April 9, 2020

Bangaluru, India. October 2017.
Bangaluru, India. October 2017. Image Credit: Satvik Shahapur

A UW study abroad program empowers students from all disciplines to apply their skills to real-life problems — such as food insecurity, water scarcity, and a lack of adequate housing and education. At the end of the program the students create videos to share their projects.

Participants in the Grand Challenges Impact Lab, directed by UW professor Julian Marshall and offered through the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and UW Study Abroad, spend winter quarter in India’s third-largest city, Bengaluru, which was previously known as Bangalore. After three weeks of classes and field trips that help students develop their problem-solving skills, participants spend seven weeks working with local organizations that are already addressing challenges in the area.

This year, the program’s third year, boasted the biggest class so far: 27 undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of units across campus, including public health, human centered design and engineering, and civil and environmental engineering. Students worked in seven groups to tackle challenges in the area. The program was cut short by a few days this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Some of this year’s projects include connecting people to sanitary public restrooms; connecting migrant workers to potential employers; developing a method to clean up “black spots,” or regions of the city where people have dumped trash; and developing a card game to educate young drivers before they get on the roads.


To see videos for all of the projects, visit the program’s YouTube Channel.

Originally written by UW News Staff for UW News.
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