The boundless energy that children are born with is something that could easily be channeled for purposes as great as growing and learning. Instead of evaporating into thin air, Empower Playgrounds collects it to provide light in the classrooms and homes of rural African villages. As its tag line reads, "Lighting the world with recess."
Conceived by Ben Markham, a former Vice-President of Engineering at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering, Empower Playgrounds focuses in particular on merry-go-rounds that generate and store electricity when played upon. According to Fast Company, "A healthy 8- to 12-year-old generates about 150 watts of energy per hour." This energy is stored on battery packs and used in portable LED lanterns given to the children to take home and use after dark. Empower Playgrounds is changing lives one light at a time.