Working at eventIQ, where we are always in the minds of teenagers and teachers, you come across many stories of smart kids who do truly amazing things at such a young age like build a nuclear fushion reactor or send a Lego man into space.
Recently I came across another story of a teenager doing something amazing. You may not have heard this one because this occurred in Africa, but the story is just as jaw-dropping and inspirational. William Kamkwamba — who dropped out of school due to his family not being able to afford the tuition. He took up self-education by going to his village’s library where he discovered the book Using Energy. In it he read in great detail how windmills work.
After a few attempts Kamkwamba built a working windmill out of blue gum trees, bicycle parts, and materials collected in a local scrapyard that generated electricity. He then built two more, including a solar-powered water pump that supplies his village its drinking water.
I don’t recall what I was doing at age 14 — I wasn’t building nuclear reactors or windmills that’s for sure. Whatever it was, it wasn’t anything that came close to being as helpful as what Kamkwamba did.