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ICT Volunteer Corps Off to Africa
A volunteer corps made up of students will take part in ICT education services in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda. KAIST students have been volunteering with the ICT education program in Africa since 2015. The volunteer corps will be made up of 51 students from 13 teams and will be conducting services for a month through the end of July at Addis Ababa Institute of Technology (AAiT) in Ethiopia, Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) and Star High School in Tanzania, and IT Education Center in Uganda. In Tanzania, KAIST students teamed up with NM-AIST students to carry out appropriate technology programs applied with Arduino kits. They plan to use scientific and engineering approaches to address local residents’ living challenges such as developing agricultural water suppliers using sensors measuring water in the soil and oxygen suppliers in the reservoir. Meanwhile, in Ethiopia and Uganda, student volunteers will be involved in various ICT educational programs for local students. The volunteering corps will also introduce cultural programs including K-Pop dancing for young students there. They will also engage in sports and art classes for students at orphanages in the region. President Sung-Chul Shin encouraged volunteers at the kick-off ceremony saying, “KAIST students should keep always humility, warmth, and tolerance in mind. I believe our students will exert leadership out there along with knowledge as well as wisdom.”
KAIST Team Reaching Out with Appropriate Technology
(The gold prize winning team of KATT) The KAIST Appropriate Technology Team (KATT) consisting of international students at KAIST won the gold and silver prizes at ‘The 10th Creative Design Competition for the Other 90 Percent.’ More than 218 students from 50 teams nationwide participated in the competition hosted by the Ministry of Science and ICT last month. The competition was created to discover appropriate technology and sustainable design items to enhance the quality of life for those with no or few accessible technologies. A team led by Juan Luis Gonzalez Bello, graduate student from the School of Electrical Engineering received the gold prize for presenting a prosthetic arm. Their artificial arm was highly recognized for its affordability and good manageability. The team said that it cost less than 10 US dollars to construct from materials available in underprivileged regions and was easy to assemble. Sophomore Hutomo Calvin from the Department of Materials Science & Engineering also worked on the prosthetic arm project with freshmen Bella Godiva, Stephanie Tan, and Koptieuov Yearbola. Alexandra Tran, senior from the School of Electrical Engineering led the silver prize winning team. Her team developed a portable weather monitor, ‘Breathe Easy’. She worked with Alisher Tortay, senior from the School of Computing, Ashar Alam, senior from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Bereket Eshete, junior from the School of Computing, and Marthens Hakzimana, sophomore from the Department of Mechanical Engineering. This weather monitor is a low-cost but efficient air quality monitor. The team said it just cost less than seven US dollars to construct the monitor.KAIST students have now won the gold prize for two consecutive years.
2017 World Friends ICT KAIST Sets Off to Ethiopia, Tanzania
KAIST launched the ‘2017 World Friends ICT KAIST’ on 21 June at a ceremony held at the Faculty Club. The event was attended by 40 student volunteers and faculty members including President Sung-Chul Shin and student volunteers. The ‘2017 World Friends ICT KAIST’ is an oversees volunteer program aimed at providing ICT education for students from developing countries and for cultural exchange. The program was organized by the KAIST Leadership Center and sponsored by the National Information Agency (NIA) since 2015. President Sung-Chul Shin delivered words of encouragement to start the opening ceremony, followed by an oath-taking by the volunteer group, safety training, and a commemorative photoshoot. This year’s World Friends ICT volunteer group consisted of 32 students and 2 staff members to lead and to support the team. The group was divided into eight teams including APP-frica, KAI-Tigers, and WITH (4 members per team) to volunteer in Addis Ababa Institute of Technology (AAIT) and Adama Science and Technology University in Ethiopia (ASTU), as well as Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) in Tanzania. The teams will educate local students on ICT and promote cultural exchanges. The volunteer period is from July 7 to August 5, lasting about a month. KAIST conducted primary document examinations and interviews from April 27 to May 18 on volunteer candidates who registered to take part, and selected 32 student volunteers. A total of 68 students registered to volunteer, resulting in a 1:2.1 competition rate. The volunteering program was customized to the local needs of Ethiopia and Tanzania and thus consisted of ICT education, cultural exchanges, volunteering at farms on the weekends, and science experiments. The area with the most focus by the volunteer team is ICT education, which accounts for 70% of the total volunteer activities. The aim is to educate Ethiopian students at AAIT and ASTU on Windows, MS Office, Adobe Photoshop, and using smartphones. In Tanzania, the team is to volunteer with students of NM-AIST to provide ICT application education such as water tank control using appropriate technology and Arduino to local high school students. The team is also planning to promote cultural exchanges by preparing K-Pop dancing, traditional Korean games such as Korean shuttlecock game (jegichagi) and Korean wrestling (ssireum), traditional cooking such as bibimbab and half-moon-shaped rice cake (songpyeon), and teaching the Korean language, as well as preparing cultural performances with local university students. On the weekends, the team will visit local farms to volunteer, and local elementary schools and orphanages to conduct science experiments for children, as well as physical education and art activities. (Photo caption: Volunteers poses with faculty and staff members including President Sung-Chul Shin at a ceremony on June 21.)
EWB-KAIST Wraps up Five-Year Project in Nepal
‘Engineers Without Borders-KAIST (EWB-KAIST)’ led by Professor Tae-ho Song from the Department of Mechanical Engineering returned to Korea on January 10 after a two-week project in Nangi, Nepal. EWB-KAIST was established in 2012 by KAIST students and professors. Since then, the team visited Nangi, in the Annapurna region of Nepal, to engage in Appropriate Technology (AT) development projects. The projects included building passive houses and small hydroelectric power, and teaching science education. In particular, passive houses that use straw as an insulator received great a reception from the locals. This was their last visit to Nepal, since the five-year project has now come to an end. Future projects in Mongolia will be led by Professor Buhm Soon Park from the Graduate School of Science and Technology Policy. Professor Song commented, “I am glad that the Nepal project was successfully conducted over the last five years. To make sure the support does not end here, I will personally continue to visit the Himalayas to assist the villagers.” EWB-KAIST is a non-profit organization that conducts activities with the aim of AT development and providing support for less-developed countries in need of the benefits of technology. ( Passive house made of straws by EWB-KAIST team in Nangi, Nepal.)
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