Given Tablets but No Teachers, Ethiopian Children Teach Themselves

With 100 million first-grade-aged children worldwide having no access to schooling, the One Laptop Per Child organization is trying something new in two remote Ethiopian villages—simply dropping off tablet computers with preloaded programs and seeing what happens.

The goal: to see if illiterate kids with no previous exposure to written words can learn how to read all by themselves, by experimenting with the tablet and its preloaded alphabet-training games, e-books, movies, cartoons, paintings, and other programs.

Early observations are encouraging, said Nicholas Negroponte, OLPC’s founder, at MIT Technology Review’s EmTech conference last week.

After several months, the kids in both villages were still heavily engaged in using and recharging the machines, and had been observed reciting the “alphabet song,” and even spelling words. One boy, exposed to literacy games with animal pictures, opened up a paint program and wrote the word “Lion.” (Read more)

Source: Technology Review

1 day ago 252 notes

Summer Challenge: Start a DIY Club!

You don’t need a 3-D printer to start your own DIY Club. Glue, saws, building materials, cardboard, construction paper and a little bit of elbow grease is all you really need to have fun. Challenge your club members to be adventurous and earn Skills you never thought to try. Here are some suggestions to help you plan an epic summer:

Build a Shelter in the Wild

Make a Screen Print

Hold a Fashion Show

Make a Telescope

Build a Website

Start a Business 

1 month ago 96 notes

Filipino Teen Creates Shoes That Can Charge a Phone by Walking

A 15-year-old with an insatiable thirst for science has developed shoes that can charge your phone or any USB-powered device by simply walking.

Angelo Casimiro lives in the Philippines, a country still recovering from last fall’s Typhoon Haiyan.

"A lot of people are still suffering from poverty," he says in a YouTube video in which he demonstrates his invention. Some people have no access to electricity, he adds. For them, "a simple source of light is big," he says.

Now Angelo is creating a new way to generate power. He placed two pairs of physio-electric discs on the insole of each shoe. The discs produce energy when any type of pressure is placed on them. That energy is then channeled to a USB port, which an electronic device can plug in to.

"My insole generator does not use coils, motors, magnets, or anything that involves moving parts," he explains. "We have a pair (of physio-electric discs) mounted back-to-back. When you make back-to-back pairs, you’re able to harvest twice the power." (Read more)

Source.

1 month ago 2,301 notes