By Jack Lowenstein

(CBS4) — A young Colorado woman is making a difference in Madagascar. Schools there are overcrowded, too far away, and so many students do their school work outdoors in hot temperatures.

(credit: CBS)

So Maggie Grout decided to do something about. After two years of planning and pandemic delays, Grout’s vision called “Thinking Huts” has come to life.

These classrooms in Madagascar are designed with a 3D printer, where students can learn in a comfortable space.

“It’s one of the poorest countries in the world, and there’s a real need for infrastructure there,” Grout explained.

The hut has a hybrid design concept, so the walls are printed, and the doors, windows, and roofs are locally sourced in Madagascar.

“So it looks sort of like a square from an aerial view, and then, one of the sides of it will go from the ground up, and then extrude a cement mixture to construct the walls, and it sort of looks like icing a cake,” Go

(credit: via CBS)

The completed hut is about 700 square feet and can fit 30 students at a time.

“They’re going to use it as a startup innovation center to encourage entrepreneurship,” Grout said. “But the larger vision is for these huts to connect in a honeycomb-type of design and serve primary and secondary age students in more rural areas.”

Grout says the students were thrilled to see the finished product, and hopeful for the future of their community.

She told CBS4 she already has people reaching out from other countries, and she would love to expand eventually if funding is available, possibly using the huts for housing and office spaces as well.

Jack Lowenstein