Youth Inspiring Change
Here are four very different stories showing what is possible if you have the vision and determination to change yours and other people's lives. There are so many inspirational stories like this today. Age is no barrier - some of the great 'movers and shakers' are under 16 years old. Be inspired by what these people are doing and, if you have a vision or dream to make the world a better place then 'go for it!'. More stories to come soon.
The Pollution Tower
According to a recent study by researchers at UC Berkeley, smog kills about 4,000 people every day in China. To help clean up our air and make it breathable again, Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde created a 23-foot tall air purifier called the Smog Free Tower. The tower-like device essentially sucks up smog like a vacuum from the top and then releases the filtered air through its six-sided vents. It can clean more than 30,000 cubic meters of air per hour and runs on 1,400 watts of green energy.
The project, took about three years of research and development, but Roosegaarde was finally able to show off his massive machine in September in Rotterdam.
Now, Roosegaarde and his team have partnered with the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection to take the giant air purifier on a tour of China to help clean up the air. The Smog Free Project will kick off in September in Beijing and then travel to four more Chinese cities.
According to Roosegaarde’s website, the air purifier was specifically created to be used in public parks as a local soultion to air quality, so it will likely be spotted in public parks as it makes its way around the country. See more information at StudioRoosegaarde
OVER 5 TRILLION PIECES OF PLASTIC CURRENTLY LITTER THE OCEAN
An organization called The Ocean Cleanup, founded by 19-year-old Boyan Slat, believe that they may have a viable solution to cleanup ocean trash. Following a year-long study involving extensive scientific research, the organization has recently released a feasibility report which concludes that their novel method to remove plastic from the oceans is both technically and financially viable.
Trash accumulates in 5 ocean garbage patches, the largest one being the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, located between Hawaii and California. If left to circulate, the plastic will impact our ecosystems, health and economies.
The Ocean Cleanup develops advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. A full-scale deployment of the systems is estimated to clean up 50 % of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 5 years.
Kelvin Doe is a self-taught engineer of astonishing precocity. At the age of 11, he rummaged in dustbins for scrap electronics parts that could fix local problems. At 13 he made his own battery by throwing together acid, soda and metal in a tin cup, waiting for the mixture to dry and wrapping tape around it. This proved a big financial saving on batteries.
Frustrated by lack of a reliable electricity supply in his neighbourhood, Doe built a generator using parts that were home made or rescued from the rubbish. The generator also powered a community radio station that he built from recycled materials. He plays music under the name DJ Focus and employs his friends as journalists and station managers.
He had never been more than 10 miles from his home in Freetown until he won a national schools innovation competition and was picked last year for a trip to America, where he spoke at the Meet the Young Makers panel at the World Maker Faire in New York.
Doe became the youngest ever "visiting practitioner" with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) International Development Initiative. He presented his inventions to MIT students, took part in research and lectured to engineering students at Harvard College. He has been featured on CNN and NBC News and was a speaker at TEDxTeen.
His mentor David Sengeh, a PhD student at the MIT media lab, said: "The inspirational effects of the original Thinkr YouTube video have been remarkable. It has had a tremendous impact on Kelvin's life, on my life and on millions of people all over the world everywhere. In Sierra Leone, other young people suddenly feel they can be like Kelvin."
William Kamkwamba (born August 5, 1987) is a Malawian innovator, engineer and author. He gained fame in his country in 2002, when he built a wind turbine to power a few electrical appliances in his family's house in Wimbe using blue gum trees, bicycle parts, and materials collected in a local scrapyard. Since then, he has built a solar-powered water pump that supplies the first drinking water in his village and two other wind turbines (the tallest standing at 12 meters (39 ft)) and is planning two more, including one in Lilongwe, the political capital of Malawi.
William's story is inspirational and he achieved much since his windmills first appeared on Youtube. He has his own website ow at www.williamkamkwamba.com/
This is an excerpt from Williams website called "The boy who harnessed the wind"
Through the Moving Windmills Project foundation, I have worked extensively in Kasungu district, particularly my own home village, Wimbe. We have been able to build three classroom blocks with two classes each for the local primary school, Wimbe primary school. These new classrooms have solar panel installations that allow the students to study late into the night. We have also introduced a one-laptop-per-child initiative, which enables us to expose these youngsters on how to use computers at an early age. We have also installed solar panels and systems in Kachokolo high school, which allow the students to use computers for their studies. In fact, we have created a local network through the use of egranary, a box that stores academic information within a local network. It is like a digital library. This means that students don’t need to be online to access academic material. They simply need to access the local network using a router!