Playing soccer is a chore in Nigeria (and many other countries).
What if people don’t have electricity to power a light bulb (or cook food or use electric machines)? How can energy be converted in electricity so that people in poor countries can use a lamp at night? In 2008 a team of students from Harvard University had the idea to develop soccer balls, called Soccket, that turns the energy from kicking a ball into electric energy. They wanted to make sure kids in Nigeria, Brazil, Haiti and other developing countries that work on farms or help in the house during day light get a chance to do their homework at night.
The soccer balls are equipped with a little generator inside that charges a battery that then can power up to three lamps. Playing half an hour of soccer provides three hours of light. What a good excuse for students to first play soccer and then do homework!
When individuals and communities don’t have access to modern energy services, it is called Energy Poverty. Nearly 1.6 billion people in the world can’t use electrical tools or appliances simply because there is no or no affordable electricity in their communities.
Can you think of how your life would be affected if you didn’t have access to electricity? Without electricity there is no modern healthcare, no heating or cooling, no cooking, no light, no computers or Internet, and no powered farming or manufacturing tools.
Organizations and governments are working hard to find ways to bring energy to all seven billion people in the world by the year 2030, and to solve one of the world’s most urgent health and environmental problems. The challenge is to provide reliable supplies of energy to help people escape poverty and illness while simultaneously protecting our environment.
What you can do
Do some fundraising to support innovative energy projects such as energy creating soccer balls. Participate in a school science fair with your ideas for energy solutions. Save energy by switching off appliances and lights.