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Home Lighting in Developing Countries:
A Systems and Global Engineering Project

Lighting consumes roughly 25% of world energy use, and is a major source of energy waste and pollution in many regions. There is no single answer to meeting the energy demands related to lighting. Every region has unique needs that must be addressed. Therefore a multitude of alternative lighting and power devices must be developed to meet the needs of various regions and populations in an effort to both increase the quality of life and to lower energy use.

Many regions have relatively consistent levels of sunlight during the day that may be harnessed to capture the energy needed for lighting. One possible solution would be a lightweight and low cost system to that does not require the use of scarce fuel. In this telecollaborative project, students in grades 9 - 12 will work with other schools to design and develop a prototype solar lighting device that is able to harness the sun's energy and can meet general lighting needs.

Through this project, students will be introduced to the concepts of systems engineering. Systems engineering activities present an opportunity for students to do engineering the way engineers do it. Students can work together to identify problems or opportunities, explore alternatives, create models and test them. The Internet and computer-aided design software make it feasible for students in multiple locations to work together to develop solutions to complex engineering challenges.

Students in each participating class will be assigned to one of the project-wide teams: Design Team, Prototyping Team, or Manufacturing Team. Each team will include students from multiple schools. Students in each team will collaborate to meet their team's goals and deliverables.

There is NO fee to participate however we do ask you to register first. To do so, go to the Instructions and Help section.

Newcomers Welcome!

If you are new to this project, please read the project Instructions and Schedule, and then register to join. Also, feel free to look at the list of schools currently registered for the project. If you haven't already done so, you may want to consider participating in the Core Concepts of Systems Engineering telecollaborative project prior to joining this project. The 2-week Core Concepts of Systems Engineering project gives students a good introduction to systems engineering and provides an opportunity for global collaboration among schools without a significant investment of time or money.

If you have any problems, don't hesitate to contact the Project Leader.