What if you could charge a battery by playing soccer with friends? During a trip to Nigeria, inventor and entrepreneur Jessica O. Matthews saw a need for sustainable power in the small villages she visited. She also saw kids playing a lot of soccer. Putting this combination together, she invented the Soccket ball, an energy-generating soccer ball that turns into a lamp or a charging station.
Her invention is not only fun, but it helps solve a need for sustainable electricity in off-the-grid homes around the globe. This Da Vinci TV video, a clip from Did I Mention Invention? with Alie Ward, features Matthews’ innovative product. Matthews explains:
It’s an airless ball, so that means it doesn’t deflate… Inside of the ball at the core, there’s a mechanism that actually harnesses kinetic energy. That’s the energy of motion that actually is generated during play and then stores that power inside the ball so you can use it as an off-grid power source.
Williams and her team have also created a curriculum around the technology so that kids can create their own inventions.
Related analog solutions: Turning scraps into soccer balls for village children and how to make a Moser Lamp: 60 watts of free, natural light.
Then watch these excellent videos about energy, technology, and inventions next:
• Moving Windmills: The William Kamkwamba story
• The Solar Grandmothers of Ambakivao, Madagascar
• Fourth graders create a solar powered classroom
• Plastic bottle water wheel power generator experiment
• How a failed invention lead to a potentially life-saving new idea