EDUBOX: A Self-Contained Engineering Learning Environment for Underserved Communities

Alberto Martinetti*, Peter Chemweno, Eva de Wit, Joëlle Steendam, Ayat Nashwan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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Education represents one of the essential building blocks of society. As soon as basic needs such as security, water, food and energy are secured for underserved communities and displaced people, education must be arranged to facilitate continuous growth of the community at multiple levels: from primary education to Vocational and Educational Trainings (VETs) to Higher Engineering Education. Since the primary efforts of humanitarian aid are always invested in addressing the aforementioned basic needs, investment in education infrastructure is challenging owing to the expenses involved. This affects access to education, and consequently the quality of life of persons, especially the underserved. To address this challenge, a flexible classroom is proposed for fostering access to engineering and technical education by the underserved. The idea aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals 4 - Quality Education. The design of a "learning environment", hereafter called EduBOX in this paper is discussed. The learning environment is essentially a retrofitted shipping container, designed to suit varying learning environments and deployed to regions affected by crisis and other adverse events including war. The classroom facilitates learning activities in the field of engineering education. The first concept for a learning environment for refugees in camps in Lebanon and Jordan is discussed in this paper as a starting point. Furthermore, the design phases of the innovative learning environment are explored, starting with a review of related solutions, and innovative design spaces. Secondly, needs and requirements of the EduBOX are explored, looking at different aspects such as engineering educational needs, learning outcomes, cultural factors and technical constraints. This step is carried out in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, including the host community. Finally, design concepts are generated, and an innovative design is explored for further detailing and prototyping. The selected concept is further evaluated, and showed a positive outlook considering usability, and from a didactic perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th International CDIO Conference
EditorsMaria Sigridur Gudjonsdottir, Haraldur Audunsson, Arkaitz Manterola Donoso, Gudmundur Kristjansson, Ingunn Saemundsdottir, Joseph Timothy Foley, Marcel Kyas, Angkee Sripakagorn, Janne Roslof, Jens Bennedsen, Kristina Edstrom, Natha Kuptasthien, Reidar Lyng
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9789935965561
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2022
Event18th International CDIO conference 2022 - Reykjavik University, Reykjavik, Iceland
Duration: 13 Jun 202215 Jun 2022
Conference number: 18

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International CDIO Conference
ISSN (Electronic)2002-1593


Conference18th International CDIO conference 2022
Internet address


  • Engineering Education
  • Learning Experience
  • Sustainable Development Goals 4 - Quality Education, EduBOX, Standard 6.
  • Underserved Communities
  • Edubox


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