Decorah’s Elizabeth Shroyer, a mechanical engineering student at Iowa State University, is seeking supplies for a summer study abroad trip.
In the coming summer semester, Shroyer will be enrolled in a Human Centered Design course in Nicaragua through Iowa State University.
Human Centered Design is a design process in which the end user plays an integral, constant role over the entirety of the project. In a few weeks, Shroyer and eight of her fellow engineering classmates will travel to San Isidro, Nicaragua where they will spend a month working with EOS International, a non-profit started by ISU alumni to help rural Nicaraguans create and build appropriate and sustainable technologies.
Once in Nicaragua, the students will be able to work with locals daily, collecting information, accessing available resources, and implementing different technologies. Specifically, the group will implement a bio-char reactor for the local farmers. Bio-char has been discovered to be a viable fertilizer; however there has been a missing link in producing the bio-char. By building upon original prototypes, the group will provide the farmers with a functional bio-char reactor to produce their own bio-char from rice husk, a readily available source of biomass.

Supplies needed
The EOS Nicaragua team is in need of materials that are difficult to find in Nicaragua. Additionally, shipping items internationally is expensive.
“My classmates and I would like to gather donated items that would be useful for our EOS projects, stateside. I have listed below some of these needed items and am asking you to take a look in your garages, workshops or local thrift shops, and let me know by June 1st if you are able to donate a used or no longer needed item,” said Shroyer.
The deadline for donations is Tuesday, June 3, as the team will be traveling to Nicaragua June 8th.
The drop off site will be the Decorah Vet Clinic at 604 Montgomery St., Decorah.
Tools needed for the workshop include: 18-volt cordless drills, needle-nose pliers, grip pliers, tweezers, ammeter, leather gloves, various tools, electric drill with conventional connection, emery for metal cutting (angled), polisher for the trucks, small vacuum cleaner for the trucks, GPS or mini-GPS and two automatic welding masks.
First aid kid supplies include: a first-aid kit, automatic blood-pressure monitor, blood-glucose monitoring system and thermometers.
Recreational sports items needed include: baseball, football, volleyball, table tennis, chess and dominoes.
Needed office equipment includes: digital cameras, USB flash drives or portable drives and portable drives.
Miscellaneous items include: wireless or corded microphones, rain gear (heavy hooded jackets and pants), field boots, used gloves for motorcycles, goggles/sunglasses for motorcycles, jackets for motorcycles and a tripod for a camera.
For more information, contact Shroyer at or 563-380-9291.