The mission of the Program for Assistive Technologies for Underprivileged (PATU) is to allow students to practice engineering skills while they develop strong communication and teamwork skills, gain global perspective, and learn social responsibility through projects for persons with disabilities that otherwise could not afford assistance.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Getting out to see Rio

Day 2--we set out to learn more about Rio's schools.

We started the day seeing a pretty awesome lab at SENAI, a technical school focused in the clothing industry. They have a lab that shows how one can set up a factory with everything computerized and interconnected, starting with a virtual mirror to have the customer design their own clothes, a waterless process for making the clothes, and a camera that reads your emotions when you try them on to put feedback into the system.

After SENAI we took a detour to the Meracana stadium purely for entertainment purposes. Several of our students are big soccer fans, so we thought it would be fun! It was pretty cool to see:)

We then visited CEFET-Mercana to learn more about the university and their ENACTUS programs. Their campus has a jungle in the middle. We think maybe a transformation of the Hayes courtyard is in order!

We concluded the day by checking out, first hand, one of the ENACTUS (Social Entrepreneurship) projects. They work with a home for the blind and have taught them to manufacture brooms so they can sell them and make a living. It's a very cool idea! I hope to be able to work with them in the future on some ideas for more projects.

Today's reflection: SENAI, the school where we saw the high tech connected system for manufacturing pants, is nestled in one of the worst favelas of Rio. Reflect on that dichotomy. What does it mean for the poor to have a school like that nearby? What does it mean for the students? Why do you think it's that way?

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