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Design Thinking-Based STEM Learning: Preliminary Results on Achieving Scale and Sustainability Through the IGNITE Model

Using Human-Centered Design to Connect Engineering Concepts to Sustainable Development Goals

Mary Elizabeth Dotson, Valentina Alvarez, Maria Tackett, Gabriela Asturias Isabela Leon and Nirmala Ramanujam

 Each Ignite curriculum follows a basic formula: (1) students learn a specific set of engineering skills, (2) students work in teams to use the human-centered design process, and (3) they develop a solution to a (SDG) using the engineering skills they learned.

Jenna Mueller, Mary Elizabeth Dotson, Jennifer Dietzel, Jenna Peters, Gabriela Asturias, Amelia Cheatham, Marlee Krieger, Baishakhi Taylor, Sherryl Broverman and Nirmala Ramanujam 

By integrating human-centered design and the SDGs into engineering curricula and targeting communities that work with women and girls, we believe the Ignite program can impact three of the SDGs – renewable energy, quality education, and gender equality


Ignite From Spark to Flame

Rachel Neha Shaw

As Ignite grew, both globally and in the local Durham area, Kimberly Breen and Dr. Megan Madonna wanted to focus on local needs, while still connecting all of their work and outreach to generating a global impact.

Partner Highlight: El Seminario Pandémico - Hosted by the Museum of Life and Science and Duke IGNITE

Libby Dotson, Center for Global Women's Health Technologies, Duke University and Max Cawley, Museum of Life and Science 

Through a mutually-beneficial and synergistic new partnership forged through common goals, the Museum of Life and Science partnered with Duke Global Health Initiative, and the IGNITE-learning program at Duke University to provide publics in our communities with necessary multi-disciplinary scientific knowledge, guidance, and advice about the pandemic

Inspiring Students to be Confident Problem Solvers: Ignite 2020 Recap

In order to adapt to the 2020 public health crisis, COVID-19, Ignite shifted to a virtual platform. This shift presents new opportunities for Ignite research. Digital literacy has become a necessity under the circumstances. Therefore, Ignite’s virtual platform opens exploration to the digital and physical spaces that can contribute to powerful learning experiences. The flexibility of implementation allows research to compare strategies and bolster our understanding of the key characteristics that contribute to impactful engineering experiences.

Follow the Center for Global Women's Health Technologies (GWHT) for more


ENCIÉNDETE, the Ignite program in Guatemala, worked with Sesame Street produce videos on applying design-thinking to Covid-19.

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