Thursday, April 28, 2011

Review of Lego Energy Workshop

As we talked about in a previous post, Empower Design held a Lego energy camp during the Ann Arbor public schools' spring break. Being the first time our group had hosted the camp, it was a success. Not only did we raise a lot of money to send to the technical institute in Uganda, but we also garnered enough additional interest to start planning additional camps over the summer. Here are a few pictures from the camp.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Workshop: Technology Transfer Table

The technology transfer table is the most important part of the workshop, as it is crucial to ensuring that the local people can take control of the project once we leave. What makes this portion so important is because all of the work done in this section is completely hands-on. Basically, the technicians in the workshop are given simple materials and asked to build a model of one of the devices we are building in the area, such as a windmill. Once their model is built, they must translate the materials they used in the shop to what materials they would use to build the actual machine and the cost of the materials. Their work is then critiqued by professional, high-quality technicians. This not only ensures that the local technicians understand how the devices are built and work, but also that they are learning how to design the most cost efficient model. It is our goal that once this portion of the workshop is complete, the technicians will be able to become successful in carrying out the project and independent of our group. At the end of the course, those who complete it will be given a certificate showing they are certified to make and sell the devices covered in the workshop.