Updated: Jan 30
In June 2015, in conjunction with the Lagos Power Kids Initiative of the Lagos State Electricity Board, Afro-Tech Girls brought 20 girls the opportunity to attend a Renewable Energy (Solar) Bootcamp Day, through an essay competition. The essay competition had the following problem statement and participants were required to write 3-500 words.
"The city of Chicago, in the United States has a population of only 3 million people. Yet, according to a recent article written by the outgoing Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chicago produces roughly the same amount of electricity as the entire nation of Nigeria, which has a population of approximately 170 million people. These figures highlight one of the primary causes of Nigeria’s consistent power outages: we are not producing enough power to meet the basic energy requirements of our growing population. Many experts have tried to identify alternative and renewable sources of energy to produce electricity and reduce reliance on the national grid currently supplying energy to the nation. Solar energy is one such energy source that is already being deployed in unique ways. For example, small solar panels on calculators help keep batteries charged, and larger solar panels on rooftops can generate the electricity needed to power a small home."
In the world around you, describe, in detail, other ways in which you think solar energy can be employed to create a more efficient and sustainable Nigeria and a more sustainable planet?
The bootcamp day was planned wholly by the Lagos State Electricity Board in conjunction with Lagos State Power Kids, and involved in-class tutorials by a Technical Solar Manager, there was a lot of singing and clapping to get everyone active and interested and we even learnt the Lagos Power Kids Anthemn. After the in-class training, the girls got to complete experiments with a Solar Training Kit and implement some of their newly acquired knowledge, this included the use of a light source to represent the sun and ammeters and voltmeters to take recordings. Through these experiments, they also learnt about the effects of shading on the efficiency of solar panels. Once they had a basic understanding of how solar energy worked, it was time for a tour of various equipment used to maintain and test solar panels, the Lagos Solar Project Prototype and the Mainland Independent Power Plant.
According to the girls, the most fun parts of the day were the hands-on experiments, getting a lot of cool "Lagos State Power Kids" merchandise, being able to visit the Mainland Independent Power Plant and of course the food and singing!