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Capstone Projects 2012-13

Spring 2013

The Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) Metro Atlanta

Created a ‘Playbook’ for rollout of Teacher Pathways Program
KIPP Metro Atlanta is a network of six high-performing, college preparatory, public charter schools in metro Atlanta. In an effort to better recognize and reward the achievement of teachers, KIPP Metro Atlanta proposed a shift towards a merit-based pay structure. This new structure, called the “Teacher Pathways” program creates a long-term career path for KIPP teachers and ties compensation to how a teacher has progressed on that path.

In order to describe and explain the Teacher Pathways program, KIPP leadership wanted to create a comprehensive playbook that details all aspects of the program. The GT Student Team was responsible for identifying gaps in materials that needed further explanation and for creating new content where needed. The Team worked directly with KIPP’s project manager and also had the opportunity to interact with senior KIPP leadership and other relevant stakeholders.

PATH Academy - Developing Curriculum Modules for STEM Subjects

Dekalb PATH Academy is a public charter school that serves the educational needs of local refugee and immigrant children in the Chamblee, Doraville and Clarkston areas in Dekalb County. PATH’s main mission is to develop the knowledge, skills and character essential for students to succeed in the best high schools, colleges and in the competitive global economy regardless of social, economic and language barriers. The goal for the team that worked on their capstone project at PATH Academy was to develop simple, engaging, effective and integrative curricular modules for eighth graders across the subject areas of math, science, language arts and social studies. In designing and developing the modules, the team worked closely with the eighth grade math, science and language arts teachers, as well as their instructor for the capstone course and another professor at Georgia Tech with curriculum design expertise.

Jacob’s Ladder School– Building the “Angel Network”

Jacob’s Ladder is a school that works with children with neurodevelopmental challenges. The team placed here worked with the school’s executive leadership and staff to build a volunteer network (the Angel Network). After meeting with organization leaders to understand the needs, the team developed a volunteer recruitment program including plans and strategies to identification, recruitment and screening of volunteers.

Global Growers Network (GGN) – Planning and Building a Sustainable Composting Facility

The Global Growers Network (GGN) is an organization focused on economic empowerment of refugees through urban farming. The GGN capstone project was geared towards environmental sustainability. Students worked with the Decatur Kitchen Garden Farm (part of the GGN of urban farms) and developed a comprehensive plan for the construction of a composting toilet at the Decatur Kitchen Garden site. The plan included sourcing of engineering plans, budget development, and creating an organization and maintenance plan for the composting toilet.

MedShare – Creating Simplified and User-Friendly Manuals for Medical Equipment

MedShare International collects surplus medical supplies in the United States and distributes them to healthcare facilities in the developing world. The student capstone project at this organization was geared towards overcoming a challenge that MedShare faces in shipping medical equipment to countries and places with limited manpower, resources and technical expertise. MedShare has found that recipients of medical equipment often lack the appropriate technical skills necessary to install, maintain or fix sensitive medical equipment. They've also found that recipients lack the time and skills necessary to pour through lengthy manuals to install or fix equipment. All of these factors lead to sensitive medical equipment either not being used appropriately or not used at all. To help MedShare address this problem, the team designed user-friendly manuals and instruction guides for a selection of frequently shipped medical equipment. These ‘manuals’ included the basics of installing equipment; provided quick solutions to addressing the most common problems encountered; and basic troubleshooting guidelines that could be used for reference in the event of a breakdown.

Plywood People – Building an Inventory Management System

Plywood People is an Atlanta-based social enterprise that works towards economic empowerment of refugee women in addition to other activities. The organization has three main business units – Educational Resources/Dissemination Services, Billboard Bags, and Gift Card Giver. Since its inception in 2009, Plywood has grown very rapidly and their current demand has outgrown the existing systems, preventing the organization from operating at maximum efficiency and growing strategically. Students in the capstone project developed a system for standardizing inventory control and reforming the organization's cost structure in an attempt to gain predictive power over sales and operations. Specifically, they will focus on developing a model number system using a SKU naming convention, exploring small business applications for shipping across the country, and tracking sales by product and business unit. In doing this, the project goal was to help the organization make smart business decisions to enable strategic growth of the organization and to develop a cohesive and strong product brand and messaging.