Updates to this site continue to be delayed by a lack of volunteers, but there is an exciting third project group underway, now making their solar cookers that they will take home. The design they chose after testing involves a round papier mache base molded over a 20 qt. stainless steel bowl that Sharon managed to fit into Camily’s suitcase when he visited the USA in the summer of ’14. With the addition of an adjustable vertical reflector made from foiled paperboard and a rack to keep the pot in the best light, these are very powerful round panel cookers. We hope to have some photos of the construction up soon.
In other exciting news, Camily has managed to pay off the guitar that has been on layaway so it can come home. Now it will be easier and more fun than ever for our team in Kenya to sing and dance about solar cooking.
On November 11, 2014, a special ceremony was held to celebrate the work of our second basic project team, innovators of the Hexagon Solar Cooker. There were presentations, songs, solar cooker demonstrations and taste samples, and more, with special guest of honor John Oduor Amayo to help hand out awards and read a speech from Grandma Solar. Project leader Camily Wedende reports that approximately 200 people attended the celebration and are very enthusiastic about the work the young people have done, and proud of their accomplishments.
View the whole album on Facebook.
Major crises in Sharon’s family in 2013-14 prevented her from updating this site for far too long, as well as cutting into time for the all-important fundraising to try to get to where we can house our projects up out of the dirt and hot sunshine. To have a hope of viability, this organization has to grow beyond one woman who is also juggling a complicated family and part-time caregiving (plus a very part-time granddaughter accountant). We have been seeking volunteers for the team and have added a couple new ones, but we could still use a couple more, at least. Skills needed include web site building and maintenance, writing, editing (photo, video, and/or text), social networking, and fundraising.
Meanwhile, the second basic project group from our pilot program in Eldoret, Kenya has proceeded to construct their Hexagon cookers, since the model tested so well. There was some unavoidable extra delay due to pilot program director, Camily Wedende, winning a travel scholarship to the 2014 Solar Cooking Convention and Festival in the USA (more on that exciting trip soon), but Camily is now back in Eldoret and preparations for the awards ceremony for the bright young inventors of the Hexagon Solar Cooker are underway.
We hope to have more updates and photos up soon.
Camily reports that students in the second project group are testing cookers, including their new Hexagonal Cooker. In the process of performing the tests, students also learn to solar cook a variety of common foods, including beans, vegetables, bananas, and other local staples. A few samples at the end of the experiments are a nice reward for the young scientists and contribute to continued engagement. Solar foods are tasty!
This image shows the new Hexagon Cooker as well as some other solar cookers that have been used for experiments.
The new student group has followed in the footsteps of the first project group by coming up with a new idea for a solar panel cooker. They have named this new cooker the Hexagon Cooker. (Originally posted in November of 2012.)
Summer (in USA) 2012
Planning has begun for a new group of students to do a basic project, despite the continued lack of a proper work space. Funds are limited at this time, so part of the challenge will be to come up with ideas to test that could be made at a project cost of ten dollars (US) per cooker or less. The board of our sister organization in Africa has voted to accept the principles of our document detailing the steps of a basic project. Once students have done a basic project, they are encouraged to come up with new ideas, but each student must complete the steps of a basic project before moving on to advanced work.
Special visitor Cathy Coyte learned so much during her visit that she was awarded a Certificate of Achievement!
Our pilot program in Kenya had a special visitor recently, a woman named Cathy Coyte from San Francisco, who is connected with an organization called Spirit in Action. Cathy is interested in solar cooking and wanted to learn what Camily, Gaudenziah, and The Team were up to. By the end of her day’s visit, Cathy had learned to construct more than one kind of solar cooker, how to use them, and had helped to run tests cooking food in the cookers. Everyone had a good time teaching the visitor and sampling the foods produced in the session, and Cathy was presented with a smart yellow Certificate of Achievement, for successfully completing a solar cooking science project. Go Cathy and welcome to The Team! Cathy will be moving to the outskirts of Eldoret soon, to open a small Internet cafe, so we hope she will be a regular visitor to the science projects, to help keep us in touch with happenings there. Here is an album of Cathy’s visit with The Team.
1/30/12 – Sister Organization Registers in Kenya
Thanks to our support team, the sister organization that is running pilot program in Eldoret, Kenya is now registered with the Kenyan government. This organization also has a bank account of its own now, to facilitate handling funds while maintaining accountability. There was even enough in the transfer to purchase a few much-needed tools, so that work on prototypes can continue while we try to broaden our support base to fund more complete projects in a better facility. Please tell your friends and family about our unique projects. We are already making a difference, but the more support we have, the more difference we can make!
1/3/12 – Funds Transfer Completed
A modest funds transfer will make it possible for our sister organization in Kenya to register with their government, open a bank account to facilitate fund raising and accountability, and purchase some tools to help with prototype work. Thank you to our support team for making this possible. Working together, we can give these smart young people and their families a brighter future.