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Thinking Huts: Increasing Access to Education Through Sustainable Innovation

A crumbling school with an older child holding a smaller child outside of it

“My life could have followed a very different timeline and I do not take that for granted.”

-Maggie Grout, Founder of Thinking Huts

At the age of 15, Maggie Grout decided to pair her interest in technology with her desire to increase educational opportunities around the globe through the creation of Thinking Huts. Thinking Huts is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to combine technology with humanitarianism in order to provide quality education across the globe. The key to creating change and new opportunities in our world is education. Thinking Huts not only recognizes this fact, but also sheds light on the importance of students across the globe having consistent access to safe, comfortable, and inclusive learning environments. If we want to work towards a better future for our world, we need to lay the proper foundation for all of our students to succeed.

Maggie’s passion for global equal educational opportunity stems from her own personal success story. Maggie was adopted from China as a baby and knows that the access she was given to education by her adoptive parents is the reason that she is here today. She recognizes how differently her life could have gone if she had not been able to experience the quality of education that she did, and it is for this reason that she is so inspired to create change. To Maggie, “Education is the universal solvent that has the power to prevent health epidemics, lift economies, and solve environmental issues. Change starts with us.” She invites you to join her on her quest for change so that we all may work together to close the global educational opportunity gap.

You might be wondering how we could even begin to solve this large of an issue in our society. Thinking Huts recognizes that this is no easy task, but they are willing to take on the challenge. Their solution for solving this crisis involves the utilization of 3D printing paired with a consciousness towards the environment and sustainability to aid in jumpstarting global education. They are currently planning to build the world’s first 3D printed school in Madagascar in partnership with another locally established nonprofit, SEED Madagascar. 3D printing will allow communities who do not currently have access to sufficient physical infrastructures to finally have that opportunity. This introduction of technology into these communities will also assist with encouraging their economic growth and innovation. All students deserve the opportunity to learn and explore all that this world has to offer, and thanks to innovators like Maggie Grout and Thinking Huts, these opportunities are becoming even more attainable.

The utilization of 3D printing in construction versus solely relying on traditional construction methods decreases the amount of concrete used and the construction time, while also supporting infrastructure integrity. The particular cement mixture that Thinking Huts is planning to use will withstand environmental pressure and significantly decrease CO2 emissions when compared to a traditional concrete mixture. The ability to create and innovate sustainably is crucial to ensuring the long-term success of Thinking Huts’ pilot project. This interest in sustainability is part of the reason why they chose Madagascar as their location to build the first 3D printed school. Madagascar has renewable energy potential, opportunity for growth, and an emerging economy, so it became clear that it would be the perfect place to build the first Thinking Hut. They also discovered SEED Madagascar and knew that their shared values of education and community involvement would lead them to success.

Remember, change starts with us.

For more information on how you can get involved in creating change across the globe, please visit Thinking Huts’ website.

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