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Whiz kid from Sierra Leone built own battery, radio transmitter

by John Roach /  / Updated 
Image of Kelvin Doe
Kelvin Doe, a 16-year-old whiz kid from Sierra Leon, was invited to spend a few weeks at MIT.THKNKR via YouTube

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Kelvin Doe’s neighborhood in Sierra Leone has power lines, but they seldom deliver electricity. So, the 16-year-old whiz kid built his own battery out of acid, soda, and metal parts scavenged from trash bins that he now uses to light up area homes and help him work on his own inventions.

Among other gadgets to his credit are a homemade radio transmitter, plus a generator to power it, that he uses to run his own community radio station under the handle DJ Focus. 

“People normally call me DJ Focus in my community because I believe if you focus you can do invention perfectly,” he said in a video about the whiz kid produced by @radical.media for the THNKR YouTube channel.

Doe’s engineering prowess was noticed by David Monina Sengeh, a graduate student MIT Media Lab, during a summer innovation camp called Innovate Salone that he runs in Sierra Leone. Sengeh arranged for Doe to visit the top-flight engineering school this fall.

“It’s an opportunity for him to create the future that he wants to live in,” Sengeh said in the video. Check it out below to learn more about Doe’s inspirational story and his inventions. 

– via Huffington Post 

John Roach is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. To learn more about him, check out his website. For more of our Future of Technology series, watch the featured video below.


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