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Renewable Energy DIY Projects for Kids and Teenagers

Let's create a website with DIY projects that kids and teenagers (with help, if needed) can build at home or for school science fest. This will make young generations more aware about renewable energy and its benefits and make the whole process more entertaining.

Photo of Tatiana Vekovishcheva

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To design new energy solutions we need new mindsets in the first place. As most of our mental models come with the social environment we encounter as kids and young adults, engaging younger generations in thinking, doing, and being related to renewable energy is a vital strategy if we want to make a historic transition as a civilization. 

Besides influencing future visionaries and change agents through formal education, it is important to facilitate self-learning and playful exploration, which is why I suggest an easy-to-use website devoted to DIY projects that specifically rely on renewable energy of various kinds. As far as audience is concerned, I suggest to focus on teenagers and parents of younger children. Projects should be suitable for carrying out at home or school and it is also important to design an intuitive and effective search system. As a supplementary function, the website could offer webinars and other resources on topics related to renewable energy and its usage. 

This would make the whole idea of green energy easily accessible for young people and encourage them to use and promote it now and later in life, maybe even by pursuing a career in STEM and renewable energy.   

What community does this idea benefit and who are the main players?

This idea potentially creates strategic benefits for a wide range of communities that would be redesigned by future visionaries and change agents inspired by renewable energy ideas at a young age. The serviceable market is basically all teens/parents with access to the Internet (as a potential future step, sending project descriptions via text messages could be considered to access certain disadvantaged communities).

How does your idea specifically help your community rapidly transition to renewables?

This will raise the new generation of people who are much more aware of renewable energy, its methods and benefits, and therefore are both open to testing new energy solutions and even contributing with their own ideas. If we want a large-scale transition, we need to design and spread new worldviews in the first place.

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Select and test projects first. Just pick one particular school/class and try some cool projects out with students. Gradually shift to online communication building a simple prototype of the website.

What skills, input or guidance are you keen to connect with from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

I would appreciate feedback and links to resources. Any kind of collaboration is most welcome, especially if you have background in education or web development.

Please indicate which type of energy is most relevant to this post:

  • A combination of various types of renewable energy

This idea emerged from:

  • An Individual

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Hi Tatiana,

So I just posted this on Marine's idea as well but I was thinking about your DIYs and the gift my friend's little brothers got as stocking stuffers completely slipped my mind! Did you know that they sell DIY solar powered robot kits now! I think it compliments both your (and Marine's) ideas nicely. They are a bit pricey however so I'd love to see cheaper ways of building these solar robots! I think that solar robots, are great because they would be functional as a toy but also increase awareness about STEM disciplines in kids.

This would be an expensive but awesome pilot! Look how cute this grasshopper is!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000QX3NYG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000QX3NYG&linkCode=as2&tag=virwol-20

This is the same one my friend's little brothers got.

http://www.scientificsonline.com/product/14-in-1-educational-solar-robot-kit

This is a cheaper DIY cockroach robot you could do?

http://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/diy-solar-powered-cockroach-toy-is-a-perfect-kids-project.html

Hope these are useful!

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