MIT African teen guest fashions battery, plans windmill (w/ video)

Nov 24, 2012 by Nancy Owano weblog

(Phys.org)—An inventor in his teen years has been on a three-week visit to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a guest resident. From university officers to labs workers, to bloggers, Americans enjoyed the chance to get to know him better as he got to know his way around university life in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is the youngest invite ever to MIT's Visiting Practitioner's Program for international development. A 16-year-old from Sierra Leone, he is a self-taught engineer. He never took any engineering or electronics class, but at 13 figured out how to make a battery suitable enough to power his family home. Kelvin Doe told his interviewers that "I love inventing." Never mind that the things he made have been from bits and pieces found around the house and from electronic parts found in dustbins which he used to head toward after school. That is how he made the first Doe battery

"We have not too much electricity," he said, saying that the lights in his home area come on about once a week. Wanting something better than the erratic power, he scraped and scrapped for materials, to build his device. He used acid, soda, and metal, placed the ingredients in a tin cup, waited for the mixture to dry and wrapped tape around the cup. He repeated this exercise until he was satisfied with a working prototype. His portfolio grew to include a generator, after spotting a rusting voltage stabilizer in a dustbin. He then went looking through the dustbins to find what he needed for the motor, plug, and other components.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

He also made his own FM radio transmitter. Adopting a community name of DJ Focus, he has begun running a home-made FM radio station, with a music mixer, recycled CD player and antenna for his neighborhood to tune in. One of his goals has been to give the community a voice where they could debate issues affecting them. He also tapped his friends to be station reporters and station managers. They have interviewed fans at soccer games and have scheduled requests for DJ services at special events, among other things. The average age of his radio station staff is 12.

The man behind Doe's visit to MIT has been David Sengeh, an MIT doctoral student at the MIT Media Lab, and also from . Sengeh, who is working on developing the next generation of prosthetic sockets at MIT, advocated for Kelvin Doe to visit the campus.

Sengeh runs a nonprofit group called Innovate Salone, which supports his country's high school students looking to innovate and solve the country's challenges. He first met the teenager at a "Summer Innovation Camp," which is Innovate Salone's three day-event held in Sierra Leone that gathers finalist teams to share inventions. Kelvin Doe's team was showcasing components for their FM . Sengeh put his efforts into bringing the teen over to MIT; he wrote visa letters, and looked for a place for Doe to stay. While Sengeh recognizes that his guest has special talents, he also emphasized that Doe "is not the only young person in Sierra Leone ready to embrace opportunities like this."

He looks forward to seeding experiences for other young minds in Africa who are eager to find their own solutions. In the first year of implementation, Sengeh said that Innovate Salone mentored many secondary students. "Since the launch of Innovate Salone, I have encountered young boys and girls who are pursuing their dreams. One girl has started boiling leaves because she wants to launch a fragrance company. Another young man, who has taken classes on MIT Open Courseware, is making huge strides in creating a robot in his house."

Sengeh takes a serious look at the dynamic of self-help. Africa, including Sierra Leone, he said, has received aid but the real growth in national development will come when Africans design their future, with "a host of young people who can think at any point that here is a problem and here is an opportunity to solve it." As for Doe, the teen said his next invention will be a windmill for people, for their electricity supply.

Explore further: Through 3D-printed prosthetic, Illinois students lending a hand in Ecuador

More information: via Mashable

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User comments : 14

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flashgordon
Nov 24, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
kochevnik
3.8 / 5 (10) Nov 24, 2012
I'm sure nobody compares to your inflatable woman, flashgordon
flashgordon
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 24, 2012
I know I like to write willy nilly, but your sentence makes no sense; please explain.
sennekuyl
2.9 / 5 (7) Nov 24, 2012
It makes sense, but it isn't a rational method of dismissing your post. On the other hand, your post's dismissal of the article was similarly irrational.

Hope springs eternal.
flashgordon
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 24, 2012
I didn't dismis the article; i simply put it in its place.
Bob_Kob
2.3 / 5 (6) Nov 24, 2012
And what place is that?
BLAST OF SHIT IN THE FACE
2.3 / 5 (7) Nov 24, 2012
yea, ever heare of Wolfram? He was suppose to be the next Einstein; he's gone on to do nothing in particular.

Actually, Wolfram invented many of the renormalization techniques used in modern particle physics calculations and which are still used today. And his continued emphasis on the utility of special functions in applied mathematics is definitely one of the more important things affecting how we think of "solving" physical problems.

Have you ever been ass-blasted? Its like being sand-blasted, but shittier.
Eric_B
2.3 / 5 (6) Nov 24, 2012
flashgordon needs to be dismissed and put in his place.
Parsec
2 / 5 (4) Nov 25, 2012
yea, ever heare of Wolfram? He was suppose to be the next Einstein; he's gone on to do nothing in particular.

Actually, Wolfram invented many of the renormalization techniques used in modern particle physics calculations and which are still used today. And his continued emphasis on the utility of special functions in applied mathematics is definitely one of the more important things affecting how we think of "solving" physical problems.

Have you ever been ass-blasted? Its like being sand-blasted, but shittier.

LOLOLOLOL
Roj
1 / 5 (2) Nov 25, 2012
The tragic history of Hollywood-child actors, and teen-pop stars is an epitaph of deleterious endings, with very few exceptions.

The difference with the young prodigy in this story is his sponsor's quest to scout for a scholarship.

"The man behind Doe's visit to MIT has been David Sengeh", who sold the 3-week guest residency to MIT, and arranged for the prodigy to meet with people at other Ivy-League Universities.

If the Ivory Tower wants to diversify its reputation with Fraternal institutions, which gave us George W. Bush and Animal House, David Sengeh has elegantly asked for a path to scholarship for those like Kelvin Doe.
alfie_null
1 / 5 (1) Nov 25, 2012
yea, ever heare of Wolfram? He was suppose to be the next Einstein; he's gone on to do nothing in particular.

Ever hear of Myron Rolle? http://en.wikiped...on_Rolle

He's gone on to do nothing.

I've seen preteens make full electronics schematics; never seen what happened to that guy!

This article is just the latest infatuation with blacks.

Hmm - based on a couple carefully selected data points, he claims what? Something about how providing education opportunities to exceptional but economically disadvantaged youth is not effective?

This a troll, right?
roldor
2 / 5 (4) Nov 25, 2012
Here in germany, they would steal his stuff away and lock him into
the psychatry: potential terrorist or danger for image of the
paper-engineers. SAD!!
flashgordon
2 / 5 (4) Nov 25, 2012
I see that Mr Wolfram published a paper on quark production, but solving the renormalisation problem? Somebody is seriously off; i just pointed out that the higgs is important to the inflationary theory only for somebody to tell me I need to go to the pyshiatric ward; i point out that religion is evil, and people just play vagueness games; looks to me that the world has lost their minds!

I'm not sure what to do about it; but, i'll think of something!
flashgordon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 25, 2012
antialias_physorg
1 / 5 (1) Nov 26, 2012
Here in germany, they would steal his stuff away and lock him into

You must live in a different germany than I do (possibly Germany township, PA or Germany Valley, WV?)

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