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Trash Technology for Education and Survival

by: gmoke

Tue May 31, 2011 at 00:35:55 AM EDT


(Can the economic revolution precede the economic unraveling, or does it have to wait? - promoted by eli_beckerman)

Straw Centrifuge Pump
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

A lot of modern junk - plastic bottles, cups, refills, rubber slippers, pens etc can be reused in many creative ways to make joyous learning aids.  Children could make more than a dozen delightful pumps using all kinds of odd stuff.  For instance, push two film cans on the ends of a 15 cm piece of old bicycle tube to make an air pump.  The opening/closing valves are made using bits of sticky tape.  This high quality pump can easily inflate a balloon!  Or else make a scintillating sprinkler within a minute.  Poke a broom stick in the middle of a plastic straw.  Make two half cuts 2 cm away from the centre.  Bend the arms and secure them in place with some tape to make a triangle.  Twirl this triangle in water to make a most delightful centrifuge or sprinkler.

Arvind Gupta has been building science teaching toys from trash materials since 1978 and for the Children's Science Centre at Inter-University Centre for  Astronomy & Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune University, Pune 411007 Maharashtra India since October 2003.

On his website
http://www.arvindguptatoys.com
you can find hundreds of toys children can make for themselves with easily available materials
http://www.arvindguptatoys.com...

He even has video demonstrations of many designs
http://www.arvindguptatoys.com...

"The best thing a child can do with a toy is break it !"

"And somewhere there are engineers
Helping others fly faster than sound.
But, where are the engineers
Helping those who must live on the ground?"

gmoke :: Trash Technology for Education and Survival
It is not a great leap from these toys to trash technology that can actually help those who must live on the ground:

Solar water disinfection with clear plastic bottles
http://www.sodis.ch/index_EN
solar cookers from cardboard, aluminum foil, and a clear plastic bag
http://www.jewishworldwatch.or...
can also be made from trash and are used around the world in homes and refugee camps.

More efficient cook stoves
http://www.maasaistovessolar.org/
and small solar electric systems
http://terrasol.home.igc.org/t...
http://www.selco-india.com/
are also becoming available at prices not much more expensive when compared to the firewood, charcoal, kerosene, and candles which are what the poorest of the poor usually use.

Bicycle cell phone chargers and human-power take-offs
http://globalcyclesolutions.com/
are also increasingly used.

The Internet, Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter were used to foment a social and political revolution that has overthrown dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, possibly Libya, maybe even Syria or Yemen.  It may be that the same technologies can speed an economic revolution and build renewably powered, locally resilient economies as well.

I wonder if Arvind Gupta's materials are available in Arabic.  Or Spanish.

Fastfood Containers as Solar Devices
http://www.dailykos.com/story/...
Recycled solar
http://solarray.blogspot.com/2...
Solar Is Civil Defense
http://solarray.blogspot.com/2...
Solar Insurgency
http://solarray.blogspot.com/2...
Small-scale LED Lighting, Off-Grid Cell Phones
http://solarray.blogspot.com/2...

Notes on the Arab Spring at
http://www.dailykos.com/story/...

Poll
Trash toys to trash technology to economic development?
yes
no
not yes
not no
neither yes nor no
both yes and no
don't understand the question?
none of the above

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