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.


ACE: Accelerating Civic Engagement

ACE Team LogoJerren Chang (HBS/HKS), Harshini Jayaram (HBS/HKS), Caleb Bradford (HBS/HKS), & Brian Mongeau (HBS/HKS)

ACE seeks to reignite civic engagement nationally by empowering individuals to learn about, participate in, and lead their local communities. An app-based civic engagement platform, ACE creates a seamless way for individuals to learn about and engage with their communities. ACE crowdsources civic learning modules about pertinent local issues from local governments, non-profits, and civic organizations and then connects users to relevant, crowdsourced volunteer opportunities. Individuals receive badges for completing modules and volunteering, which, in turn, will signal civic mindedness to schools and employers and qualify top users to meet with local decision makers.


Photo of team Cultivate Michele Rudy (HGSE) & Rodrigo Dorador (HKS)

In Arizona, the graduation rate for English language learners is 18%, the lowest graduation in the entire country. The current school system is simply not designed to meet these students’ needs. Cultivate is a school designed for the unique needs and assets of immigrant and migrant students. From evidence based instructional practices for English language learning, to culturally affirming pedagogy, to a lifeworthy curriculum, to trauma-informed teaching, every aspect of this school is designed to create the conditions for migrant students to thrive.

FEEd – Finance and Economics Education

Trang Luong (HGSE) & Tue Tran (HLS)

Description coming soon.

M Power Learning

M Power Learning team photoSteven Chambers (HGSE), Michele Rudy (HGSE) & Thomas Milaschewski(HGSE)

M Power Learning seeks to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline by recruiting, training, and placing African-American and Latino college graduates into public K-12 schools with high populations of African-American and Latino male students. M Power “coaches” will be trained in social-emotional learning (SEL) and paired with Latino and African-American male students as paid school staff to advise students during the school day in 1-on-1 and whole group sessions.

Oklahoma 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

Teacher Impact Collaborative team photoTeacher Impact Collaborative

Tauheedah Baker (HGSE) & Crystel Harris (HGSE)

Teacher Impact Collaborative is a capacity building organization that partners with districts to increase quantity, quality, and retention of teachers from diverse backgrounds.

Dual Capacity Project team photoDual Capacity Project

Marissa Alberty (HGSE) & Eyal Bergman (HGSE)

Dual Capacity Project is a multimedia website aimed at supporting district leaders in building their beliefs and skills in Family and Community Engagement (FACE) work. This tool is designed to showcase the Dual-Capacity Building Framework, and bring it to life by using: An introductory video from Dr. Mapp that presents the revised version of the Dual-Capacity, Building Framework to be unveiled in July 2019, Exemplar videos, artifacts, and case studies from districts around the country in order to highlight each element of the Framework, Testimonials from current leaders on ways to leverage funding for systemic FACE work, Structural & policy recommendations for districts to build capacity in FACE, and a detailed map of district leaders so that colleagues can connect with each other more easily.

University-Wide Human Rights Curriculum logoUniversity-Wide Human Rights Curriculum

Inkyu Kim (HMS), Delphine Rodrik (HLS), Amina Rahimi (HMS), Catherine Wu (HMS), Austin Herbst (HMS) & Austin Davis (HLS)

We seek to bring together the brilliant minds of the different Harvard Schools to create a space for knowledge sharing and discussion regarding human rights issues around the world. We will hold a lecture/discussion session to facilitate inter-disciplinary collaboration and promote both a richer learning environment and generation of more robust solutions.

VRsatility: Mind. Set. Shift.

Kevin Bryant (HGSE) & Hassan Brown (HGSE)

V R satility team photoVRsatility seeks to provide educators with an immersive virtual space to practice their interpersonal and pedagogical skills prior to initial engagement with students in order to minimize potentially harmful interactions. VRsatility serves as a vehicle to close skills gaps while increasing empathetic relations between teachers and students. We leverage virtual reality as a core of instruction to increase student engagement, improve teacher creativity and revolutionize the pedagogical  approach to content delivery.

Yelp PD

Yelp PD Logo and PhotoAmanda Dudley(HGSE), Danielle Duarte (HGSE), & Leslie Jimenez(HGSE)

Every year $18 billion is spent on professional development (PD) across the country and yet there is no systematic way for school and district leaders to efficiently find effective PD to meet their diverse needs. The mission of Yelp PD* is to provide school and district leaders with an online platform with unbiased, independent reviews of professional development (PD) sessions to aid leaders in efficiently finding effective PD that meets their educators’ diverse needs.