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Morgan Abbett with children on computers

Morgan Abbett, '14, MS '15

Computers to power learning in Cape Town

Across South Africa, mathematics test scores, secondary school matriculation rates, and youth employment rates are troublingly low. These statistics are, in part, the result of schools' failure to teach students useful skills and provide personalized education. That is where computers can help.

Through Stanford Engineers for a Sustainable World, I have worked for the past year to design a technology center at Parkwood Primary School in Cape Town, an underfunded public school that does not have a long-term computer space or program. Our team is working to build an effective, sustainable technology solution at Parkwood that will improve academic performance and propel students towards greater success in school and future employment. In addition to serving students, the center will provide computer access and training for teachers, parents, and other community members.

Thanks to an African Service Fellowship provided by the Haas Center, I spent several months in Cape Town designing the building, creating the program's organizational model, teaching computer literacy classes, and working with our partners, an educational enrichment nonprofit called Bottomup, and a South African coding academy called iXperience. The next step is fundraising for the construction of the center. For more information please feel free to reach out to Stanford Engineers for a Sustainable World.

Morgan Abbett, '14, MS '15, studied for a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering and African studies, and a master's degree in environmental engineering and science.
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