In Term 1, we implemented our third Yiya unit in our partner schools in Lira District-Northern Uganda. This unit was called Going Green! Environmental Engineering: Creating Gravity Lights.
The Going Green! unit was designed to teach students to apply the knowledge of pulleys and gears that they study in school, to design the technology of Gravity lights and promote it in their communities. Gravity Lights will allow communities to have reading light at night in their homes, in areas where the electric grid does not reach or is too expensive for most people to connect to. Gravity Lights are a safer, cleaner alternative to kerosene candles, which endanger the environment, cause household fires, and lead to frequent burns in young children.
Before teaching students, teachers in our partner schools were first extensively trained on the Gravity Lights unit. Then, we dove into teaching!
Lesson 1 of this unit focuses on identifying and examining the effects that night-time lighting solutions have on the environment as well as people! Students were asked to research in teams about this problem using various newspaper articles and visuals, to make a report and then to choose one team member to participate in a TV-like talk show on climate change! It was so amazing to hear the views of students on climate change! Students discovered that, yes, air pollution through release of carbon gases to the environment is a big threat to the environment as this distorts the protective ozone layer, exposing the earth to direct heat from the sun which causes global warming.
In lesson 2 students investigated available technologies that can help solve this problem, and in lesson 3 students calculated velocity ratios of the gears and pulleys they used in building their technology of gravity lights. In lessons 4 and 5, students created their first prototype of gravity lights, experimented, tested and made improvements.
Students are still improving on their gravity lights so they can be ready for use. They will showcase this technology at the Annual Yiya Interschool Engineering Competition during Term 3, in October. Click here to watch Yiya Program Director Samson in action in the field during this unit.