Currently awarded Pilot Fund Projects: 

Below are the student innovation teams who are currently receiving $200 – $500 from HILT to pilot their educational ideas. Any degree-granting student from any school at any level is eligible for HILT Pilot Funds, so you will see a range of schools and student-types represented on the teams; we strongly encourage cross-discipline and cross-school teams.

All of HILT’s Pilot Fund projects are early stage. Most teams, therefore, use HILT’s Pilot Funds to better understand a problem area, refine the theory of change, get user feedback, and/or prototype lean experiments. Some of these teams are new to the HILT community while others have received multiple rounds of funding as they make progress on their ideas.


Team photo of AmanAditi Nangia (HGSE) & Ghazi Taimoor Mirza (HGSE)

Our project aims to tackle hatred and bigotry in India and Pakistan through developing curriculum, guidelines and training for teachers. We want to build skills in teachers andstudents to empathize with people who are different from them, tolerate opposing viewpoints, have difficult conversations and accept diversity.

Arts in a Circle

Yi Chen (HGSE) & Jin Zhai (HGSE)

Arts in a Circle, LogoOur team wants to design an affordable one-stop art education online platform for Chinese families. We want to educate the public about the broad definition of art education and design a series of online courses for families with children aged 5-12. To achieve the first goal, we will host online round-table discussion with art education professionals every week. This series of panel discussion is free and open to the public. To address the second goal, we aim to build online learning modules with the emphasis on reflection, communication, and connection.


Harrison Grussmark (HBS) & Rishabh Agarwal (HBS)

Bonsai logoBonsai is a personalized and adaptive solution that develops SEL skills in middle school students by encouraging them to engage in microlearning activities. The platform motivates students to authentically and consistently engage by offering intangible and tangible incentives for achieving critical milestones. Furthermore, Bonsai utilizes real-time data to monitor student progress and provide stakeholders with early warning indicators to help them intervene.

Brown Art Ink

Brown Art Ink team photoAmanda Figueroa (GSAS) & Ravon Ruffin (External)

Our goal is to provide tangible, actionable, and effective professional development education for emerging artists, particularly artists of color and artists who are women or gender minorities. Through hands-on workshops in the DC area, we plan to develop and implement a curriculum of professional development designed to help these artists receive more opportunities and greater support for their work.

C2B – Classroom to Boardroom

Ketty Lie (HBS/HKS), Viria Vichit-Vadakan (HBS), and George Oliver Vinton (HGSE)

Classroom to Boardroom, LogoA widening skills gap in Indonesia for start-ups and innovative companies stems from insufficient youth job training. C2B seeks to solve this gap by providing an immersive training program designed in close collaboration with rapidly growing industries (i.e. tech-focused companies). Graduates of the program will be better equipped to take on challenging roles in various institutions having been equipped with key managerial and analytical skills. Our training approach will emphasize on experiential learning, critical thinking and integrative knowledge. Our focus for the next 3 months is to assess in-demand skills with big hiring gaps by doing deep-dive interviews with start-ups founders, corporate hiring managers, local college graduates, and training organizations as well as run training pilot programs in the field.


Collab-O logoI Made Subagiarta (HMS), Mohd Lutfi Fadil Bin Lokman (HSPH) & Renato Errea (HMS)

Rarely a week goes by without a single headline about an emerging or re-emerging infectious disease somewhere in the world. Globalization has tied together all peoples and nations in an interdependent, interrelated and interconnected global health space. Collab-O,virtual One Health classroom, is proposed to fulfill the need of future leaders who are conversant with the problems, have global networks and comprehensive understanding to find solutions in a collaborative One Health approach.


Yasmene Mumby (HGSE), Bonnie Lo (HGSE), Charisse Taylor (HGSE)

ColorFULL, LogoYouth of color all over the nation do not have access to equitable opportunities for culturally affirming learning where their stories and voices can be amplified in creative ways. Educators also lack the supports to build and grow in their capacity to create, collect, and collaborate to strengthen culturally affirming teaching and learning. We collaborate with educators and their students to create culturally affirming literary, audio, & visual content and curriculum.

DEEP Career

DEEP Career LogoDanni Zheng (HLS) & Han Jin (GSD)

DEEP Career strives to “Deliver Equal and Endless Possibilities” for young professionals’ career development in China, where accredited career opportunities are concentrated in Beijing and Shanghai, but young talents elsewhere are excluded. To address this educational inequality, DEEP Career will develop a for-profit digital product to ensure that young talents in different regions enjoy equal access to transparent opportunities. Meanwhile, based on its non-profit platform with 40,000 subscribers on WeChat, DEEP Career will sponsor cross-regional internships and career-related events, and continue its efforts on publication and career talks.


Sarah Buksa (HGSE), Rose Sagun (HGSE), & Angela Hernandez (HGSE)

Our project, Ethos, aims to end sexual violence and harassment using a three-pronged, three-S approach that is designed to: simplify training to maximize learning, sustain impact through engaging a company’s ethos, and synergize efforts for global scale. We deliver engaging and effective step-by-step content, through customized pedagogies, based on each company’s needs and work culture so that the learner can genuinely and effectively engage with the content. Additionally, Ethos acts as a “culture champion” for a company’s overall corporate well-being, sense of inclusion, and level of productivity. Through a 1-to-1 matching model, for every corporate client that we engage in, a parallel “sister” intervention program is happening in developing countries that expands community-based capacity to prevent and respond to sexual violence through education.

Field Fit LogoFieldFit

Madeleine Mortimore (HGSE) & Marcus Forbes (HGSE)

Student-athletes tend to have a lack of engagement in non-athletic activities. College Armor is building an online platform that seeks to incentivize and guide student-athletes to engage in non-athletic activities through a fun, interactive game.


Dalia Abbas (HGSE), Jennifer Wang (HGSE), Laura Parody (HGSE), and Dana Britt (HGSE)

KidCollab, LogoOur project attempts to aid students and teachers in dealing with collaborative projects in the classroom. We envision that this experience will take the form of a “quest,” in which students will work together to solve a problem. To address the challenges of organization, accountability, and good communication in group projects, we aim to host these quests on a platform geared at optimizing collaboration. Our hope is that the platform will be agnostic and can be used with a variety of learners.

KinderStories LogoKinderStories

Jaclyn Horowitz (HGSE), Ellie Hoban (HGSE), Justin Kaplan (HSPH), & Apittha Unahalekhaka (HGSE)

KinderStories is a school readiness program that prepares incoming kindergartners for the social and emotional learning (SEL) expectations of the classroom. Using a research-based SEL curriculum, highly transferable narratives and storylines, and integrating emotion-recognition software, our tablet and smartphone-based app will educate, entertain, and evaluate learners, while simultaneously providing critical data that teachers can use to optimize their in-class SEL instruction come fall.


Candrika Dini Khairani (HMS), Nanda Lucky Prasetya (HMS), Monica Nimala (HSPH)

KolaboraSIM, LogoEach year interprofessional teams are sent to rural Indonesia to improve the quality of primary health care delivery and public health service. Current pre-departure training is not adequate in teaching interprofessional collaborative practice due to a lack of simulation. We want to provide an immersive virtual reality simulation using 360-degree videos to place participants in a representation of a complex teamwork situation.

Life Bonus

Life Bonus, LogoMuhammad Khisal Ahmed (HGSE), Eric Gonzalez (HGSE), Prasanth Nori (HGSE), Tianchun Xia (HGSE), Echo Ya Ting (External), Ivona Zgrablijic (External)

We work on developing early literacy, situational empathy and self-efficacy through parent-child interaction. In phase 1, we would like to create structured parent-child interactions through a children’s book. The book will contain material like vocabulary-building sentences and games, empathy-building exercises and serve-and-return conversational questions. It will also be supplemented by a training video for parents to help them learn the process of going through the book. In later phases, we plan to introduce other supplementary material like games and videos on an online platform.

Modular Pre-Schools

Christopher Gyngell (HGSE), Zina Noel (HGSE), Codi Canton (HGSE), & Sarah Osborne (HGSE)

We would like to design and develop a prototype for a modular preschool. Children in emergencies and in developing countries often fall behind their peers due to a lack of access to quality early education. We would like to develop a low-cost, highly-mobile solution which would communities to recover from hardships or expand their educational capacity to children who may not have been able to access education before.

MuRealities LogoMuRealities

Angel Rodriguez (GSAS) & Jason Bowie-Wilson (MIT)

The purpose of the project is to place Diego Rivera’s Gloriosa Victora in a digital context to assess the narrative of the mural and the historical experience that produced it. The media experiment project aims to workshop digital surveys that explore these main research questions: how does this mural serve as an “interactive” map for storytelling and navigating narratives? What aspects of Rivera’s visual language in his artwork informs new ways to understand social relationships and change over time? By experimenting with new mediums, not new methods, we seek to broaden our base of source material for education in social history

MythOS, logoMythOS

Tristan Helms (HBS) and Gregory Dachner (Brown University)

MythOS is addressing the growing gap in social and emotional skills among adolescents who are not being served by traditional social activities (sports, theater, etc.) but are instead consumed by digital entertainment. MythOS is using games that resonate with digitally-focused adolescents to drive home social and emotional skills.

New Teachers Thriving, LogoNew Teachers Thriving

Tyler Hester (HGSE), Dana Britt (HGSE), and Merry Chin (HGSE)

New Teachers Thriving seeks to train new teachers to achieve personal well-being, enabling them work better with students and leave the profession at a lower rate. Tyler is writing a book entitled Don’t Be Miserable in October that outlines the five pitfalls that lead new teachers into misery and clarifies solutions. Additionally, we will provide in-person trainings for teachers at schools and districts around the country. This year, we’re piloting our training series for over 60 teachers in partnership with Boston Public Schools and the Boston Teachers Union. We hope to offer online courses and develop an app that will enable us to provide the support that new teachers need.

Oklahoma Science Project logoOklahoma Science Project

Kayla Davis (GSAS), Rebecca Fine (GSAS), Kate Lachance (GSAS), Jane Huang (GSAS), Emily Kerr (GSAS), & Noah Bloch (GSAS)

The Oklahoma Science Project is an online resource with the goal of improving access to and promoting STEM education in Oklahoma. The project combats strained educational funding by providing students and educators with free computational science lessons that aim to teach students how to use programming to solve science problems while introducing them to the fundamentals of the python coding language and teaching them fundamental principles of science. We combat the shortage of STEM professionals in the state by exposing students to the stories of successful Oklahomans holding STEM degrees and positions on a blog. The Oklahoma Science Project plans to network STEM professionals from Oklahoma to respond to anti-science and anti-education legislation being written in Oklahoma

Our Voices Matter LogoOur Voices Matter

Shawon Jackson (HKS) & Keturah Gadson (College)

The purpose of this project is to teach public speaking and advocacy skills to low-income middle school students of color. We hope that by doing so, we can improve their educational outcomes; and more importantly, we believe this program will help students become critical, compassionate, and socially conscious leaders with the confidence and skills needed to promote social change.

rankED logorankED

Kiera O’Brien (College), Ben Sorkin (College), & Alexis Mealey (College)

We are in the process of creating a platform reminiscent of HackerRank, aimed at high school students applying to colleges. The goal of our platform is expanding the reach of recruiting from top-tier and prestigious universities to underrepresented populations. Broadly, a platform of this sort would include competitions hosted by university partners and other resources designed to engage and assess students who would else wise be unlikely to experience the recruiting process.

Reimagine African Schools

Bahia El Oddi (HBS), Prasanth Nori (GSAS), Mriam Hammond (HGSE), & Aneeqa Rana (HGSE)

Reimagine Schools LogoThis project envisions the creation of a pan African affordable private K12 schools network (i.e. ReImagine Schools). These schools would provide a lower cost alternative for low-middle income populations to access quality education, drawing on curriculum, operational, and technical insights to lower costs and increase both cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes. ReImagine Schools is an affordable and adaptable 21st century school model anchored in an integrated student led learning and teachers training platform empowered by Artificial Intelligence. We think indeed that there is a need for a AI integrated learning and teaching platform which will be integrated into an exhaustive school model (a kind of “school in a box” or “school at your fingerprints”) that could be delivered though a franchise model to achieve further scale. We would also differentiate ourselves by continuously refining the model leveraging the expertise of Harvard and MIT graduates and faculty.

S.A.F.E., logoS.A.F.E. (Share. Access. Flourish. Engage)

Annapurna Ayyappan (HGSE), Dhwani Shah (HGSE), & Marisa Fear (HGSE)

Teachers serving preschoolers in low-income and marginalized communities across the world, are struggling with issues that are affecting their ability to do their work. SAFE will be an online and mobile application platform that will give teachers access to developmentally appropriate resources to provide solutions to problems facing in their classroom, access to professional development opportunities, and the opportunity to form sub-groups of educators or educator communities connected by a similar challenge or a shared interest.

STEMtelling logoSTEMtelling

Jenny Norman (HGSE) & Andrew Segal (HDS)

Science isn’t just a set of subjects to study; we all live science every day. Yet most students imagine themselves to be separate from it. STEMtelling can change this. STEMtelling is a set of interactive diagnostic tools designed for secondary students that promote the individualized discovery and learning of STEM, based on each student’s own life, experiences, and relationships.

The Growing Book team photoThe Growing Book

Jingwen Xie (HGSE) & Jiayi Hu (HGSE)

The Growing Book is an app aimed at cultivating children’s active learning and socioemotional development through gamified storytelling.


Joshua Boyd (DCE) and Michele Rudy (HGSE)

We are solving poor student engagement for online learning communities. Despite the various, online tools for online learning engagement there still lacks something that gets you closer to a real classroom experience for before and after class engagement. Usmosis is an online avatar space for before and after class engagement; replicating a real classroom engagement experience.

Utopia LogoUtopia

Swan Lu (HBS), Shenglan Tan (HGSE), Hailun He (HGSE), & Zoe Zhu (HBS)

The vision of Utopia is to provide the high quality curated content for early childhood development – we differentiate by taking a holistic educational approach – one focuses on all important stakeholders – parents, teachers, kindergarten and children themselves. Our current curriculum includes Museum learning and English Theatre, and currently piloting in China.

YourCampus, LogoYourCampus

Yilan Yang (College) and Mario Gutierrez (College)

The main purpose of our venture is to provide an educational networking platform for prospective university applicants to connect with current students. We plan to build a website/mobile app where university students can sign up to be part of panels and mentor high school students also on the app. Our panels will visit high schools in low income districts to provide students with information and promote our app/website as a resource for students to use for guidance.