Friday, April 27, 2012

Windmills Show the Power of Access to Knowledge

Windmills Show the Power of Access to Knowledge:
In 2001, in the face of a widespread famine, a then 14 year-old Malawian William Kamkwamba decided to find a way to secure a better future for his family. After he was forced to drop out of secondary school due to the tuition requirements, William used a local library to glean as much knowledge as he could from its books. And, through physics textbooks and engineering journals, William found a way to provide his family with a more secure and prosperous future.
In the library, William learned about the physics behind wind energy. Inspired by diagrams and pictures of windmill designs, William decided to build two of these machines. The first provided electricity to power his family’s home. The second provided an arguably more valuable commodity – a constant supply of drinking and irrigation water for his family’s farm.