Wednesday, February 9, 2011

teaching yourself to harness the wind

A boy in Malawi who was unable to attend school taught himself how to read and then read a book about wind turbines.  This interested him so much that he built his own electrical generator to power a few lights and radios in his hut.  Neighbors jeered until the setup worked.
The book.  Via Boingboing which had this to say:
Undaunted by poverty or the famines that affected his country, William taught himself by studying the books in the library of an elementary school in his village. In 2002, when he was 14 years old, he went to the library to find out what the English word "grapes" meant and he stumbled across a science book for elementary school students called Using Energy. William says that finding this book was the trigger that changed the course of his life.
He had a difficult time reading the book, but he pored over its diagrams for motors and generators, and eventually came up with the idea of building an electricity-generating wind turbine. His village did not have electricity (in fact, only 2% of Malawi receives electricity service, and that service is very spotty), and he dreamed of being able to read at night in his house....

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