Increasing Access to Educational Technology in Cambodian Public Schools

In collaboration with:

Targeting United Nations Sustainable Development goals:

This project was formulated as a response to the request for help from the Cambodian Ministry of Education, to introduce 3D design into Cambodian public schools as part of their larger “STEM in Schools” initiative. The Liger Leadership Academy formed a group of 11 students and myself as the facilitator to tackle this challenge. During the initial stages of this project we discovered that the computers used at some of the public schools were under recommended specification to run 3D CAD software. We needed a platform that would enable smooth access to CAD software and still be economically feasible to schools that had limited financial resources. We considered the idea of using Raspberry Pi computers to accomplish this task, due to their low cost, low power consumption, ability to run 3D CAD software and an array of educational content that can be easily installed on to them.


Explorations at the Liger Leadership Academy are project based experiences where students work together in groups of 12 to explore a relevant, often complex question, problem or challenge. This project based learning approach is almost always enhanced with intensive activities that involve student immersion in real world experiences outside of the classroom.
By engaging real issues in the outside world, students focus on big picture systems thinking and create a final product or action that causes change or serves a meaningful purpose. This process helps each student develop individually and communally as creators and innovators. It ensures deep and authentic learning – engaging students in critical thinking, problem solving and decision making in contexts that are relevant to them.

Once we confirmed that the prototype worked, we needed a way to make sure that the intended computer lab would be utilized as frequently as possible to make sure that the investment would be worth it. We sought out a Cambodian English learning startup called Edemy, to see how we could use their software within our computer lab, to provide an English program that could be used on the computers as a primary curriculum. Our team’s vision is that by increasing English literacy within the schools that we are working with, we can create a bridge that would enable accessibility to the practically infinite English resources of the internet. Our team also developed 3D design (FreeCAD) and programming (Scratch) video tutorials in the local language in order to provide additional STEM curricula as part of the response to the request from the Ministry of Education.

After the specifics for this project were finalized, we needed funding in order to take the project to the next step of commissioning. Our team wrote a grant to the Susan McKinnon foundation which was secured successfully before we started to commission the project. We secured enough funding to implement a solar powered computer lab in Takeo province, and another computer lab connected to grid power on the outskirts of Phnom Penh.

If this pilot project fulfills our specifications of success by increasing attendance rates and improving English literacy, we hope to replicate this model in other areas of Cambodia.

Pictures below show the official opening of the first Cambodian Solar Powered Computer lab by Dr Im Koch the Secretary of State from the Ministry of Education Cambodia.