MIT Design for America

This past year, MIT Design for America was able to work on four impactful projects affecting a diverse set of problems in the community. Team F.R.E.S.H worked on helping low income working families to gain better access to local food pantries who have limited hours of operations. In order to do this, they designed F.R.E.S.H. containers which are similar to vending machines and store fresh food packages that families can pick up from the F.R.E.S.H. receptacle after the food pantry closes. Our education team addressed the problem of teachers having too much trouble designing custom worksheets and finding resources to match their teaching style among all of the online resource clutter. They designed an online platform that allows teachers to drag and drop questions from a bank of crowdsourced problems to easily customize the perfect worksheet that fits their teaching style and their classroom. Booboo Buddy is a doll to help pediatric pain communication both in hospitals and at home. It is a toy and app combo that allows children to visually communicate their pain and help adults track changes in pain over time. And lastly, the Allocator was designed in partnership with the Harvard Homeless Shelters to help homeless shelters everywhere better serve the needs of the homeless population in a more effective manner. It is an app that helps homeless shelter street teams track information about resources used and needed at specific locations so that they can better keep track of the needs of the homeless in different locations and at different times of the year. These projects were made possible only by CSF’s generous funding, and many will be continuing for a second year to expand their impact in the community.