Imagine Tomorrow at WSU is an annual high school competition that challenges students to seek new ways to support the transition to alternate energy sources. The student team from Lake Roosevelt High School (Mr. Rise was their advisor) entered the 2010 Imagine Tomorrow event last summer, and their project won first place for the category of behavior challenge as well as advisors’ favorite.
For this project, the students aimed to create a solar energy education curriculum for elementary school children in Malawi Africa. The project addresses the question of how developing countries can use sustainable energy education to improve the future for their children. To achieve this goal the Lake Roosevelt group created a partnership with the Masanjala Educational Foundation-Malawi. Curriculum materials they produced were sent to the middle school science teacher in Chiradzulu, Malawi. The project includes a solar water pasteurization component with supporting tools and materials. Water in Malawi is usually untreated, is of poor quality, affects children’s health and ultimately hinders Malawi’s ability to improve living conditions. The curriculum uses reclaimed materials to construct a model of a solar cooker which captures sun energy. Using solar energy to bring water to a pasteurization temperature has been shown to improve water quality and conserves Malawi’s limited wood resources.