So far this project has been one of the best I’ve had in my school years. If you have already read my first post about this project then please take the time to read this post because it might repeat somethings but it has information added to it.
To begin from the start, when we were introduced this project I didn’t think I would take such a huge interest in it, I thought it would be like a typical learning experience when you learn something and that’s it! No action is taken. This was different, we had a chance to contribute to the solving of the problem. The first experience we had was connecting to the Dominican Republic and talking to Eladio and Dennis who were teachers in the school. This school was not one that was struggling, in fact they were trying to help the neighbouring villages and cities. The people living with light poverty had lots of struggles. Their homes that were Bateyes would burn down using kerosene lights that had malfunctioned and caused fires.
Here is a photo of bateyes:
After that skype chat I decided I wanted to take action and help! I understood it would be hard but I wanted to design lights. At first when my group of Zac, Ben, Josh came together we thought of making flashlights with solar panels but that seemed like a really repeating topic so I decided to ask my dad (Afshin Zarei) for help. My dad has worked with electricity for the past 20 years so his experience could benefit my group and or even the whole class. My dad gave my group the idea of using electromagnets and making shakable lights.
A couple of days after the Skype chat with Dennis and Eladio, we contacted Mr.Fogarty who had a class in New Brunswick. Mr.Fogarty had designed lights before and so my group decided to ask him if he had worked with magnets before and if he had what was his experience. When we asked him the question he seemed interested in the topic and he gave the idea of us making the lights so they could attach to an animal or even the person’s leg for it to be charged.
Afterwards my group made a rough sketch of how the lights would look like and then we went on Winter break. During winter break I tried to make the magnets and coil part of the circuit but it uses a lot of effort and lots of trial and error. The materials I had will be shown in the photo below:
^We have so far tried two different types of coils and two different types of magnets and we still have not had success of reaching 1 volt for the batteries to charge. The experimental part of this project are the thickness of coil and magnets.
We also had a second skype chat with Eladio and Dennis and this time when we brought up our idea of using kinetic energy and magnets to create lights they seemed interested and asked us to send them any information we found out.
I would also like to again thank all the people that have helped us so far:
Mr. Brown (Provided magnets)
Mr. Robinson (Provided coils)
Throughout this process I have gained a lot of patience, it takes patience to be able to twist coil properly and start over if you mess up. I have learned more about how important the thickness of a coil is and how it can affect the electrical current. My group has so far tried thin coils and they have not responded well therefore we have come to the conclusion that the thicker the coil the better the voltage.
I feel like I have met my learning goals because I did lots of research and also tried to ask people with more experience to help. We as a group helped each other and supported each other. I made multiple connections during the skype chats and I honestly think for the first time ever I stepped out of my comfort zone. I may have not made a new light design but I am pretty proud of what my group did in this short amount of time.
Overall collaborating with people basically around the world has been an amazing experience, being able to discuss our ideas with them and gain from their past experiences is pretty cool. I think I managed to keep my group together as a leader and I did try and talk to the people every Skype chat. I could definitely agree on getting started with the lights but I did have a lot to do at the time where it would have been best to start.
I liked this experience a lot because not only did you teach the people behind the screen but they also helped you and supported you!
To end this blog I would like to ask the person reading this to pause for a moment and think, what kind of skills I have to contribute?
Although the semester is ending and we have to wrap up this whole project I don’t want my group’s idea to go to waste, as a grade 9 student it would have been hard to be in a lab with different size coil wires and magnets. The reason I made this blog isn’t for the grade I’m going to get. It is to pass on my idea to someone else, someone who is capable or interested. I hope one day I’ll be able to continue this project and or even hear about it in the news. It’s good to be able to help people, it feels amazing.