Ghana’s Adaptation of Intro to Engineering Course Flourishes

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The course, adapted from a Dartmouth course, is thriving in its fourth year.

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two students building a circuit board
Students working together to build a circuit with an Arduino board. (Image courtesy of Thayer School of Engineering)
9/22/2017
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Read the full story, published by Thayer School of Engineering.

In 2013, George Boateng, ’16, Thayer ’17, created an abbreviated version of Thayer School’s signature introductory engineering course—ENGS 21—for high school students in his home country of Ghana.

He called it Project iSWEST (Innovating Solutions with Engineering, Science & Technology) and founded a nonprofit, Nsesa Foundation, with six Ghanaian friends to run the program—a three-week summer intensive innovation boot camp. The pilot was successful enough to attract funding from Thayer as well as from Dartmouth’s Institute for Security, Technology and Society (ISTS) and the Neukom Institute.

“The thing that blew my mind about (the course) was that students without advanced engineering classes could go through a design and innovation process and actually build solutions to real-life problems and start companies out of it,” Boateng says.

Now in its fourth year taking place at the University of Ghana in Legon, Project iSWEST has steadily grown and offered free admission to girls in order to boost their enrollment, which rose from two to 10 out of this year’s 27 students. 

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