Milwaukee School of Engineering is hosting a Desk Drive to provide Milwaukee area K-12 students with proper workspaces for virtual learning at home. MSOE student volunteers and the CREATE Institute worked together to design and build desks for families in need. The Desk Drive is in partnership with Digital Bridge, who will donate 100 desktop computers, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee and Milwaukee Public Schools, who will distribute the desks and computers to local families.  

The student-led initiative originated in MSOE’s CREATE Institute, a department focused on developing high-impact educational experiences for MSOE students and faculty that have a community impact.  The project helps students develop the MSOE Mindset and become leaders of character, responsible professionals, passionate learners and value creators.

Students, faculty and staff from across campus are coming together to design and build the desks. Industrial engineering students drafted the preliminary design for the desks, which was then adjusted and finalized by Anne-Marie Warren, an architectural engineering senior and CREATE Student Fellow. After the desk design was finalized, 40 MSOE students volunteered to measure, cut, rout, sand, stain, assemble and package the desks.  


Build your own desk! Download the plans here.

MSOE students will make a total of 100 desks that will be distributed to families in two rounds. The first round on Dec. 15 includes 34 desks that will be donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. The second round in February will include 66 desks that will be provided to families at Forest Home Elementary School and Alexander Hamilton High School.  

Each desk will be accompanied with a refurbished desktop computer from Digital Bridge, a non-profit organization that connects vulnerable populations and under-funded organizations with digital resources. Digital Bridge started as a student organization at MSOE and grew into the independent, non-profit organization it is today, providing technical resources across three continents.  With an abundance of families working and learning from home, there has been a surge of online purchases of home office equipment, causing an increase in prices. MSOE and the CREATE Institute hope these desks and computers help mitigate the economic burden placed on households and enhance students’ virtual learning experiences.