Several of the students were interested in making the car-battery-to-cell-phone-charger device we saw at Maker Faire (I’m not sure I’ve met a Ghanian yet who doesn’t have a cell phone in use at all times
Instead of copying exactly what they saw though, I wanted them to come up with their own method of achieving the same thing. So for this lesson, I focused on something a bit different than just straight building something. I taught a bit about the design process itself- roughly following something called a CCB (Creative Capacity Building) exercise. The goal is that they will challenge themselves (now and in the future) to think creatively to come up with a solution that meets all the design requirements efficiently.
Some tidbits I learned:
- a full brainstorming session is not something that most of these students have encountered before
- talkative people are prone to steer the brainstorming session off on their own path
- these students are good at recognizing which resources are available to them
Here’s what they decided on:
12 V battery -> circuit that reduces the voltage -> “extension board”, which in a nice, simple manner provides plug in ports for multiple chargers.
This was perhaps a basic design project, but i’m happy with the portable, simple solution they came up with.