Kinetic Earth Renewable Energy Power Source (KEPS)

This invention will be a portable, renewable energy source, that people can use to charge their phones and power other electrical devices.

Photo of Brynlee Whiting

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Please confirm you meet the following criteria

  • We have submitted the supplemental form linked in the description above
  • We are aged between 14 - 20 as of February 11, 2021
  • We live in the United States or its territories (Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa)
  • We are not employed by, or directly related (parents or siblings) to a current General Motors (GM) or Ashoka employee
  • We have been working on this project for at least three months
  • We consent to Ashoka and/or GM featuring our work on their website, social media, and in other materials regarding this Challenge using the information in our application
  • We confirm we have the rights to use and share any content uploaded on this entry form

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

Date You Started Your Project

10/13/ 2020

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Start-Up (first few activities have happened)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Africa is a developing country, and so by starting their communites up with renewable energy sources will be benneficial. Kinetic Earth power source (KEPS) will help them with this problem by creating a renewable energy source that is portable, perfect for charging electrical devices. In Africa there are phone charging kiosks, where you pay to get your phone charged. KEPS will allow citizens to charge phones where they are, saving money and time.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Kinetic Earth Power Source (KEPS), is a power source that harnesses the power of rotational kinetic energy to create electricity. KEPS does this by making energy through a spinning magnet inside of a sphere. The magnet inside the sphere, (think of a globe) will spin due to the opposing magnets set inside the walls of the sphere. It does this by the nature of magnets, because magnets don’t like being put with their same end (negative to negative or positive to positive). It will push against the magnetic field, creating a spinning motion as it moves away from the pressure of the sphere’s sections containing a negative section of the magnet. The spinning motion of the magnet will turn the gears like the ones of a generator, creating energy without the use of wood, oil or Hydropower which are the main power sources used in Africa. Usage of oil and wood contributes to the CO2 emissions of the world, though hydroelectric systems are renewable, they have high costs and require expensive upkeep throughout it’s life. They also cause issues with people living nearby, displacing them from their homes. KEPS however, is small in cost and size making it a portable source of renewable energy.

3. Please tell us how you are using science, technology, engineering or math to address your environmental challenge.

We help reduce the carbon footprint of citizens by giving them portable energy sources so that they do not need to rely on carbon footprint making sources of energy. We are using engineering by creating a 3-d printer as well as other parts to create a small globe that will be able to create renewable energy through spinning magnets. Math and science will be involved as we continue to evolve the project to make the most amount of energy we can with the invention. The science of magnets is also being used as we evolve our project to have the best design to work with magnet's natural abilities.

4. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

In seventh grade, Brynlee Whiting was introduced to creative thinking with solving issues the world faces. She became interested in reducing her and her communities carbon footprint. As she was trying to find an idea to create a more reliable renewable energy source, she came across a playground equipment that would spin you around and around with a little push. Building off of that idea, she, along with Emma Snyder created a this design. Where spinning magnets would spin on their own to create energy. Kinetic Earth Power Source (KEPS) continues to evolve to create a more reliable source of energy. Because solar panels and hydroelectric energy isn't available everywhere, but KEPS will be able to provide portable renewable energy that is low in cost and user friendly worldwide.

5. Video (Keep it simple, your phone on selfie-mode is great): Please upload a 1-minute video to YouTube that answers the following “I am stepping up to be a Changemaker because...”

6. Please highlight the key activities you have carried out to bring your project to life.

We as a team have brainstormed and planned our invention plan, and the Kinetic Earth Power Source (KEPS) is under it's first prototype creation process. As a team we have researched on the best materials for this project, and have revised and redesigned several times as new information was gathered. We have plans to continue with it throughout this year and the next to create a portable renewable source of energy that is low in cost, and available world-wide, focusing on the African communities.

7. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

Our project is portable, which is not seen in other renewable energy power sources (REPS), it will also be affordable to the public, unlike hydropower or wind turbines which have high upfront costs, and high carbon footprints to make. We will specifically serve the African communities, so that they can charge their phones without walking to and waiting at phone kiosks, a common way to charge phones in African cities. This is unlike any other renewable power source because they are not able to be transported with their consumer.

8. Impact: In the last three months, please detail the impact your project has made.

In the last three months we've engaged with 6 people, and we plan to involve more students in our school as the idea and tasks evolve and grow. We plan to personally give power to African communities, to reach out to our community as we get input on design and the model's access to the public. We plan to not only have this design in use in African communities, but also throughout the world. We plan to give access to this power source to those who would be getting it last, first. Starting with those in rural areas of the world, and spreading up to bigger cities after that.

9. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

We plan to continue to evolve our design and start introducing the design to places that can produce our design. Then we plan to send our designs with service companies to give the design out to African communities. We plan to evolve our idea to suit the needs of the African community, so that the designs can work efficiently for them in their circumstances. We plan for this new power source to help bring more children and adults education and access to technology and renewable energy, by being able to charge their electrical devices with ease. Members of the African communities will be able to spend more time getting an education and earning money, and less time at walking to charge their electrical devices.

10. Please share how you have influenced other young people to get involved in your project and/or care about environmental sustainability.

Just as we only have one body, we only have one earth. Therefore it is vital for us to help sustain our earth's resources. By using renewable energy sources we can reduce our carbon footprints, helping slow and prevent further damage to the earth's atmosphere and resources. With our idea in action, we will also be helping those who would have to spend precious time walking to charge their phones, to be able to spend their time doing home work and improving their education, and family life.

11. How would you partner with other changemakers to make a difference?

We would willingly partner with those already in the renewable energy source business. By collaborating our ideas and putting them into action. We would also partner with other members of our community and school in order to improve the efficiency of our design. We would partner with service organizations in order to connect and serve co

12. How would you engage others who have never heard about your project to get their buy-in?

We would give a presentation about our product, or pre-record a presentation that we can share to others (such as on you-tube or even doing a presentation with Ted-talks). The presentation will help inspire those who listen to help with our cause, to give clean, renewable energy to everyone. Starting with those who need it the most.

13. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors

14. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you? You’ll be able to select only one option.

  • Legal Services

Are you employed, or directly related (grand-parents, parents, sibling) to a GM or Ashoka employee?

  • No

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Recommended by others
  • Word of mouth

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or General Motors, who was it?

My history teacher, Mrs.Drew.

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Join the conversation:

Photo of Keveni Fernandes

This is a really unique idea! I love that you'll be reaching out to different communities, but I'm curious how you plan on spreading the word and who your target audience is.

Photo of Brynlee Whiting

Keveni that is a good question, spreading the word for our project is next on our list to complete. At the moment, we are working on our prototype. So far, our plans to spread the word about our idea are to create informational videos that can then be shared with others to inform them our our product. Like the one we posted above for this entry. It would be a dream to be able to do a short talk with Ted Talks, in order to spread the word of our product to the public more. But that is further along the way in our process at the moment as our product is still young in it's development.

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