20081227-the-goals2The electric generator playground is expanding…next to a see-saw, schools can add a merry-go-round.

There are over 10,000 public schools in Ghana with no power source. Missionaries found that in Ghana, kids were so excited about playground equipment that fences had to keep them out while school was not in session.

20081231-playground-power-2The Empower Playgrounds merry-go-round is designed to produce 300 to 350 watts of electricity, enough to light three or four rooms from the same power that 60-pound children would expel climbing 10 feet of stairs in 35 seconds. Portable LED lights can be taken home after classes to relieve their families’ reliance on fuel and flame for light.

Empower Playgrounds installed their first six merry-go-rounds in Ghana this year, starting in June. This was built as a BYU engineering project involving five multi-disciplinary team members. Unrelated discovery from this press release: residents of Utah are called “Utahns”.

We will be watching closely for their next project slated for 2009: swings as electrical generators.