A project by Vasilisa Semouchkina, Annie Chen, and Kaylla Cantilina

Wintervention, is a proactive way to fight the cold.

Wintervention was born from three peers’ hopes to in influence transportation in and around the Brightmoor community. Starting with simple activities and pre-prepared questions, we began thinking about designing a solution that would alleviate the students’ commutes to school in the wintertime. From here, we created a problem statement that asked a single question: “How might we offer a locally-sourced, cost-effective, and sustainable solution for the arduous winter commutes of Brightmoor students?” As an answer to this problem statement, we presented a solution that was as creative as it was practical: “By encouraging innovation and motivation through the creation of rechargeable heating pads from basic materials, to be utilized by students on their commutes to school.”

Wintervention incorporates the building of rechargeable heating pads by teaching basic skills (such as sewing and soldering), as well as focusing on sustainability and creativity. With the diversity of skill-sets and experiences within our team, we were confident that we would be able to execute our solution, while also keeping the students engaged and excited. Our team learned how to sew pouches for their heating pads as well as how to solder wire together in order to generate an electric current.

What we discovered about ‘change’, especially with respect to working with the Detroit Community High School students, was that we were not intentionally trying to ‘change’ anything at all. Really, we were building, creating, and innovating – and always with the students in mind. We wanted to emphasize that we were there to build with them and help them become the entrepreneurs they are all capable of becoming.

Download the Wintervention full project report, including instructions, here.