Maggie Grout came from a life of poverty. She is building 3D printed schools in developing communities to solve the education crisis.

Changing the world starts with an idea. If you have full belief in that idea, the sky is the limit to what you can accomplish.

Maggie Grout was adopted from China at a young age. Had she not been adopted, her life would of turned out very different. She fears that she would’ve been working long hours in a factory making less than $3 a day. Maggie grew up knowing poverty. At 15-years-old, she decided to dedicate her life to breaking that cycle.

How One Unique Idea Is Going to Help Change the World

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Maggie, now 22-years-old, remembers being in her dad’s office discussing the future of technology. They brought up the need for more schools in developing communities. In these communities, many children have to walk long distances to make it to class. When they arrive, the school is completely overcrowded and there is simply not enough space. This sparked an idea in Maggie’s head, “What if we 3D printed new schools?”

3D printing is a relatively new technology, and even newer in developing communities. The benefits are endless; 3D printing allows for the cost of resources to be cut in half, as well as construction periods to last not months, but days. Maggie says that a new school can be built for only $20,000 in areas where they are needed most.

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“Education is the answer to solving the problems we have,” Maggie said, “and people are not addressing the issue of infrastructure within the realm of education.” She believes that furthering education is the key to tackling poverty. “3D printing is a piece of the puzzle to solving the global education crisis.” 

Maggie wanted to find a way to give more students the same opportunity. Building more schools means more pollution, but she has that covered. “3D printing reduces our carbon footprint.” She says, “Concrete production is one of the largest polluters in the world. Our concrete mixture will emit less CO2 and reduce waste by up to 50%.” 

How One Young Woman Proved the Importance of an Idea

In April of 2022, Maggie’s non-profit organization Thinking Huts opened a 700-square foot 3D printed school in Madagascar. New technology allowed for the walls to be printed in only 18 hours and the whole structure to be completed in 3 weeks. The school can hold up to 30 students at a time.

The older students, ages 16 to 18, at Thinking Huts schools will be taught about 3D printing. “Bringing this technology in developing countries and teach it to local communities is essential.” Maggie said, “But to do it in an empowering way, rather than following the traditional humanitarian model.” With more people knowing what she does, Maggie hopes to change the future of education. 

Maggies life would’ve been different if she hadn’t been adopted. She was given a unique opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and chose education to be her calling.

At only 15-years-old she had an idea of how to house more students. Fast forward 7 years and Maggies organization has the ability to pop schools up in 3 weeks at a low cost. Maggie is tackling the education crisis one community at a time, and it all started with an idea.