Ben Markham, a BYU alumnus who served as an LDS missionary in Ghana discovered a serious problem: as many as 10,000 schools operate without any electricity. So, he collaborated with the BYU School of Engineering and Technology and created a design-based solution. Using existing and affordable parts, he and the students constructed a merry-go-round that acts as a generator. The energy from the spinning playground toy is stored in a battery which in turn powers the school’s low-power LED lights. Brilliant!
The kids get a toy (which are, sadly, rare) and the school gets resources for more effective teaching. As another stroke of genius, the LED lights are themselves rechargeable so the students can take them home with them to continue their studies.
I was touched by the generosity and intelligence displayed through this act of service. It’s stories like these that convince me that there is always something to improve by way of design and God makes it possible for those willing to listen and follow through.