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33 Buckets working in eSpace, an engineering design, integration and protoyping studio an ASU's Tempe campus.

33 Buckets working in eSpace, an engineering design, integration and protoyping studio an ASU’s Tempe campus. Photo: Jessica Slater/ASU

Four student-led projects are part of a pilot program launched by the ASU Foundation aimed at supporting research and student projects at Arizona State University.

Engineering student organization Engineers Without Borders’ Bondo Rarieda water supports a large community in rural Kenya that lacks access to potable water. Over the last two years, the group has been developing solutions to repair failing dams in the rural region of Kenya in order to ensure safe, accessible drinking water for the community. They are also working closely with the community to share and implement design, safety and educational materials to help the community apply the same solution to other dams.

33 Buckets, a group of current and former engineering students, is working to help provide clean drinking water to communities in rural Bangladesh where contaminated water is the leading cause of disease and other health problems. Their pilot program is at the Rahima Hoque Girls College. 33 Buckets has designed a water purification system that provides clean drinking water to the school—not only supporting the girls’ desire to pursue an education without health risk, but also providing enough extra water to sell back to the community through a microfinance-like business.

Both groups are hoping to raise funds to support implementation of their plans, including travel and materials.

Matt Fraser, associate professor, and Kristen Parrish, assistant professor, both in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, and Philip Horton, faculty associate in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, are leading a multidisciplinary team of students, Team ASUNM. ASUNM is competing in the 2013 Solar Decathlon and working to design and build SHADE—Solar Homes Adapting for Desert Equilibrium—a home meant to adapt to the environment surrounding it. They hope to raise funds to support students working on the house this summer.

The fourth project is Desert Tortoise Genome for Conservation. Their goal is to gain a better understanding of the genetic heritage of the desert tortoise to help learn how the species deals with high temperatures, limited water availability and exposure to disease.

USEED, which launched on May 15, is a crowdsourcing portal that pulls together “stories of some of the most exciting ASU projects, ranging from science research to service trips abroad.” To learn more, visit

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