Lab in a Suitcase

 

The Lab in a Suitcase brought eBooks, Wikipedia and different kinds of offline applications to under-privileged kids or students in rural area. The lab is built on a central server approach, deploying a Raspberry PI server with e-resources such as e-books, a children’s Wikipedia and a content management system. A wireless router provides access to the resources on the server. A single charge gives the lab enough power to run for 5 hours. In Hong Kong, our students worked to set up the lab server and tested the mobile devices.

They also designed and created a number of e-books that the children would be able to access by scanning a QR code on an illustrated “menu”. The Hong Kong NGO WebOrganic donated some resources of their own and helped us to contact the Hong Kong telecommunications company CSL, who kindly donated 30 devices from their stock of former demo models. All of this equipment is housed in two video equipment suitcases that have been modified to accommodate and power the devices.

For transportation of the lab, we secured enough donations to buy a tuktuk (a motorized tricycle), and had the transportation end customized to fit our requirements, including a secure storage area for the lab and ease of loading/ unloading the equipment. The Cambodia YMCA staff has been trained to maintain the use the mobile equipment, and also to teach the schoolchildren using the resources in the lab and on the server. An agreement has also been made with them to continue bringing the lab to the school at regular intervals (e.g. 1-2 times a week) even after our project is over.

Figure 1. Students discussed enthusiastically how to install the "Lab in a Suitcase".

Figure 1. Students discussed enthusiastically how to install the “Lab in a Suitcase”.

 

Figure 2. We eventually installed the "Lab in a Suitcase" successfully.

Figure 2. We eventually installed the “Lab in a Suitcase” successfully.

 

Figure 3. We deployed the "Lab in a Suitcase" in a rural primary school in Cambodia.

Figure 3. We deployed the “Lab in a Suitcase” in a rural primary school in Cambodia.

 

Figure 4. We conducted a 4-day ICT workshop in Sen Sok Primary School to teach the students how to use the mobile devices.

Figure 4. We conducted a 4-day ICT workshop in Sen Sok Primary School to teach the students how to use the mobile devices.

 

Figure 5. All of them were excited in using the mobile devices of the "Lab in a Suitcase".

Figure 5. All of them were excited in using the mobile devices of the “Lab in a Suitcase”.