Alumni STEM Project Blossoms Into Nonprofit Organization

Alumni STEM Project Blossoms Into Nonprofit Organization

Alums Jacob Dubner '17 and Jack Waters '17 developed a 3D-printed device, the Oral Rehydration Therapy Tube (ORTube), in their Upper School Research Science Class at WT to combat diarrheal diseases.

The ORTube is a 3D-printed tool designed to help people accurately, easily, and inexpensively prepare and administer oral rehydration solution—consisting of salt, sugar, and clean water—in combination with a one-liter soda bottle.

Dubner and Waters crafted their project, the "Oral Rehydration Therapy Tube," or "ORTube," during the 2016-2017 school year. As students, they were inspired to create a tool to fight diarrheal diseases after reading about efforts to combat a cholera epidemic in India in their AP English Language and Composition course.

In the summer of 2017, Omni Med, a non-profit that trains Village Health Teams to bring preventative health measures to local villagers, ordered a small number of ORTubes – which Dubner and Waters produced through MakerGear 3D printing – and field tested the product in Uganda. Dubner and Waters used the results from the field testing to adjust their design, and subsequently traveled back to Uganda with Omni Med and their newest version of the ORTube in the summer of 2018. While there, they trained the Village Health Teams using ORTubes and collected data.

Now, the pair have incorporated ORTube as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and continue to consult with their former teacher, Science Department Chair Graig Marx. Hundreds of Ugandan health workers are using ORTubes, and Waters and Dubner hope to expand access to communities in need. Learn more about their work.