This short video and article describe how John Magiro built a hydropower generator for his rural community in Kenya using scrap metal, a magnet, and a car alternator.
Students will learn how John Magiro started by building a small generator and then expanded the generator to provide power to his whole community.
This video highlights how one individual can make a difference in their community through innovation and engineering.
This resource is a great way for students to explore the engineering design process. Students will learn that working with different mechanical parts and being curious about how things work can lead to solutions with a serious impact.
There are links in the article to John Magiro's website and additional related resources.
Students should have a basic understanding of types of energy sources and renewable versus nonrenewable resources.
Consider having students draw out the steps of hydroelectric power generation. Students could research different scales and types of hydroelectric power generation and compare and contrast their drawings.
If students are not familiar with the importance of renewable energy to combat climate change, lead a discussion or investigation to explore its importance.
The resource presents how hydropower could be generated with local or natural resources. It is inspiring and suitable for students to learn about clean energy as the world is shifting focus to renewable energy. This resource is ideal for the classroom.
Science and Engineering
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
HS-ESS3-2 Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
ETS1: Engineering Design
HS-ETS1-1 Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
HS-ETS1-3 Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
HS-PS3-3 Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.
English Language Arts
Speaking and Listening (K-12)
SL.6-8.2 Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.