Team instaling handwashing sinks in Durham



Interacting with the public, particularly students, about sanitation, health, the environment, and our research is one of our favorite things. We get a boost of energy every time we have the chance to meet with others who are eager to tackle big challenges. From creating toilets for extreme environments to exploring how we create clean water from human waste, members of our team can provide insight into the ways in which chemistry, biology, engineering, entrepreneurship, and science communication play a role in the development of technologies designed to improve human health. Recent activities include lab tours with Durham-based Audacity Labs, virtual classes through Skype-A-Scientist, conversations with STEM students at Riverside High School's Project Lead the Way, and brainstorming with Gen Z problem-solvers in India with Worldview Education.  

If you work with a group of students and want to learn more, please reach out.  We'd love to see how we could help.


The Center also seeks to increase awareness of and access to sanitation and hygiene services in our local community through involvement and sponsorship of WASH-related activities. We support weekly Toilet Tuesdays, as well as annual events such as World Toilet Day and Bloodsport, a pad and tampon drive to support local nonprofits.

Inspired by the Clean Hands Collective and their do-it-yourself Seattle Street Sink, in October 2020 our team raised funds to build and install a handwashing station at the downtown Durham Skate Park. With COVID-19, the need for places in our community where people can practice healthy hand hygiene is critical. In May 2022 we installed a second sink at Edgemont Park in Durham, with support from the Duke University Community Engaged Scholarship Collaborative and local leaders and families. We will continue to collect user feedback and explore other ways we can support health and hygiene locally. We extend our appreciation to the City of Durham Parks & Recreation Department for their ongoing support of this project, local community leader Charlitta Banks for reaching out to families to create art, Clean Hands Collective for their generous open access approach to public health solutions, and the Community Engaged Scholarship Collaborative for mentoring and fiscal support.