Schoolhouse Ghana

Prospective Students

There is a role for everyone! We encourage all majors to join, but we are especially looking for students with the following or related skills: graphic design, quality assurance, community assessment, computer science, computer engineering, and web development (back-end, front-end, or full-stack). If you are looking for more information about how you can contribute, see “Interested in Joining?” at the bottom of this page.

Project Description

The project team is partnered with the Godfreds Foundation, an organization whose goal is to build and operate a low cost, sustainable private school that promotes a positive learning environment for the children of rural Ghana. Currently every child in Ghana has to take a national exam in 9th grade to be able to continue with their higher education. If a child happens to fail this exam, they are forced to look towards labor given their inability to continue with their studies. This exam tests their computer literacy through digital test-taking. Unfortunately, most rural communities in Ghana have unreliable access to internet and electricity, which results in a lack of computer literacy among their students, contributing to the cycle of poverty in these areas.

The Semanhyiya American School (SAS), built by the organization in the rural village of Senase has provided computers for the students to use, but without a reliable source of wifi, the only curriculum they can offer in their computer class is typing. Schoolhouse Ghana aims to facilitate the improvement of their computer skills by providing a server and a local network that allows the teachers to download webpages and content from the internet, to later be accessed by the students without the use of wifi. This network also seeks to provide a “cloud” storage to facilitate computer usage between students, as well as an email platform to improve their digital communication skills. In order to do this efficiently the team has split up into three subteams:

Software

This subteam is creating the website, downloader software, and user interface for students, teachers, and administrators.

Quarterly Goals

  • Recreate website with React, MongoDB, and Material-UI
  • By end of quarter, finish MVP: functional website with student, teacher, and admin accounts with varying privileges for editing/viewing announcements and resources.
  • Improve Downloader UI and functionality
  • Prepare alternative solutions for downloading resources

Hardware

The hardware subteam is in charge of building two servers (one for Senase and one for testing at UC San Diego) and preparing them to work with the software.

Quarter Goals

  • Clone the server to send a new version and keep the current server to iterate on.
  • Finalize router system
  • Test the routers’ connectivity and hardware components

Team Members

Neve Foresti: Team lead

  • 3rd year studying Cognitive Science, Sociology and Speculative Design
  • 2nd quarter with Schoolhouse Ghana

Matthew Chen: Software lead

  • 4th year studying Bioinformatics & Computer Science
  • 1st quarter with Schoolhouse Ghana

Sohyun Lee: Finance

  • 3rd year: Data Science
  • 1st quarter with Schoolhouse Ghana

Oguz Sayim

  • 4th year: Computer Science
  • 3rd quarter with Schoolhouse Ghana

Cynthia Butarbutar: Partner Liaison

  • 2nd year: Computer Science
  • 1st quarter with Schoolhouse Ghana

Vanshika Agrawal: Hardware lead

  • 3rd year: Nanoengineering
  • 1st quarter with Schoolhouse Ghana

Faculty Advisor:

Dr. Mandy Bratton

Undergraduate Advisor:

Cristina Barney

Partner

The project team is partnered with the Godfreds Foundation, an organization whose goal is to build and operate a low cost, sustainable private school that promotes a positive learning environment for the children of rural Ghana. They plan on achieving this positive environment by using innovative teaching methods, while maintaining local traditions and following the local curriculum. The main goal of this is to help the students of rural Ghana succeed on their national exams, which determine their future educational and career opportunities. The organization’s co-founders are: Director of Operations Fredrick Benneh Frimpong, Executive Director Barbara R. Allison, and Financial Director Michael E. Allison. They are currently working on the development of a school in the rural town of Senase, Ghana, with the immediate goal of expanding it to create more grades for the growing children. This is the school the SchoolHouse Ghana team is directly helping.

http://godfredsfoundation.org/

Honors

This team was accepted into the Clinton Global Initiative University program for 2020. Our team will be travelling to Scotland for the annual CGIU conference in April.

Interested in Joining?

We hope to finish the system by the end of spring quarter, at which point our team will go to Senase, Ghana to set up the system and train teachers & administrators.

Next quarter will focus on:

  • Polishing user interface of software (React, MongoDB, Material-UI)
  • Testing the hardware and software
  • User-testing for software
  • Creating troubleshooting manuals and training sessions
  • Impact Assessment preparation to make sure our project is sustainable

Why you should join:

  • You’re interested in the project!
  • Your skills/background can contribute to our goals for next quarter! 
  • You are hoping to get get more practice with skills that recruiters want (e.g. React)

There is a role for everyone! We are especially looking for students with the following or related skills: graphic design, quality assurance, community assessment, computer science, computer engineering, and web development ( back-end, front-end, or full-stack). As you can see, our goals next quarter range from coding to interviewing to designing manuals, so please apply if any of these goals are up your alley!