Tag Archives: heather

Scaling Development Ventures Conference

20 Feb

Two weekends ago, PEN finally had a reunion!!!!!!  minus Brianna and Aron… 😦

We convened to attend the Scaling Development Ventures Conference, hosted by PSC, D-Lab, and others. Although a blizzard came through Boston exactly then, we got together anyways.

Here we are!



PEN presents D-Lab: Education!

20 Dec

We are very excited to announce that we are starting a new MIT class in collaboration with D-Lab.

Here is the course description:

Explores education in the international development context and how modern best practices can be applied to overcome challenges, such as limited resources, language barriers, large class sizes, and entrenched pedagogy. Through an overview of core teaching skills emphasizing experiential and project-based learning, provides the necessary background to nurture creativity in youth and develop interactive lessons around science, technology, engineering, and math. Students draft and deliver lessons, receive feedback from peers and mentors, and then practice teaching in local Boston-area schools.  Opportunity to teach abroad over summer.

Please spread the word to MIT/Harvard/Wellesley folks so that they register for the class! Undergraduates and graduate students welcome.


Enterprise Africa Competition Video

20 Jul

A video of our pitch presented at the Enterprise Africa Competition has been posted to TechTV.

Check it out here: http://techtv.mit.edu/collections/africainnovate2012/videos/20093-business-plan-competition-the-practical-energy-network



16 Apr

PEN continued testing our solar lamp curriculum by teaching this lesson series every Saturday for two months to a group of local high schools through the HSSP program: http://esp.mit.edu/learn/HSSP/index.html

It was a fun group of students to work with. Some highlights include: one kid mentioning lasers in every single class, hearing them come up with new uses for their devices (without prompting), certain kids developing a love (or borderline obsession) with soldering, hearing them accurately teach each other how solar cells work, seeing them get excited about various research ideas going on at MIT (transparent solar cells, paper solar cells, etc). They’re a bright bunch of kids!

Props to Maddie for being such a dedicated teacher, and Ned for his excellent circuit knowledge. I had a great time helping out along the way.

Here are a bunch of pictures:


teaching about batteries


circuit + solar cell + batteries!


battery holder


Enterprise Africa Conference

9 Apr

PEN was selected as one of the six finalists in the Enterprise Africa Conference’s Business Plan Competition!!! We’re very excited about this opportunity.


If you’re in the area, please come by this Saturday April 14 to hear us pitch to the panel of judges.

Boston College Splash Class

21 Dec

PEN tested a couple of our solar lessons at the Boston College Splash Event in November. 

Here are some pictures!


Testing the cells in the sun


Soldering the cells together

The students worked really well in pairs!






A finished panel!


All smiles with the finished product 🙂


Heather’s Summer Blog Posts

10 Sep

Heather wrote a series of blog posts this summer for the MIT Global Challenge blog: go see them here!

Highlights include the IDDS Maker Faire and photos of these wacky students: