These pictures are from July when we were working with students from Olorien Secondary School in Arusha. Four students approached their teacher saying that they wanted to build a windmill, so he contacted Bernard and they came to the AISE workshop to design and build their windmill. They learned about wind power and they learned about design principles. We are hoping that they will keep developing their design, but you can see their first prototype in the pictures.


We just had some secondary school students from St. Jude’s come to visit our workshop and learn about what Bernard has been working on. The students were very excited and had lots of questions. They especially enjoyed the drip irrigation maker. We are hoping to keep working with them on their ideas moving forward!


Appropriate Technology Clubs

Last year, AISE Tanzania received funding from The GO Campaign to set up Appropriate Technology Clubs at schools around Arusha.  Although it has been difficult to find schools that are committed to the program, we had a really great experience with the Laroi Primary School south of Arusha.

The students were very excited to have some practical sessions and to build new technologies themselves.  We worked with the 35 students in Standard 7 (7th grade) and they brought the perfect balance of curiosity, enthusiasm and inquisitiveness to the sessions.  The teachers themselves wanted to help us as much as possible and get a glimpse of what sorts of activities we were running.

The most successful activities were probably having the students build their own maize shellers (for removing kernels from the cob) [1] and demonstrating the bicycle-powered blender.  They worked with sheet metal and learned basic metal-working skills.  As they worked in teams through the assembly process, they were clearly feeling more and more confident about their ability to make their own technologies.  The second activity with the blender was a great exercise to encourage the students to think creatively about the machines they have around them.

Clockwise from top left:  Students examine a hand-held maize sheller to identify the design features; A student uses a jig to produce the maize sheller; Bernard explains how each of the tools are used; Bernard demonstrates that the blender can be produced with material available in a market town; One of the students produced her own design for a maize sheller using old roof sheeting.

Also see the video here.

[1] The design of the sheet metal maize sheller has been in existence for a few years now, but the manufacturing process was a clever innovation by Bernard which relies on a jig that can be produced by a local welder and makes the process much quicker and more reliable.


This video shows the first test of the Bicycle Blender.  We were very pleased with the resulting banana-avocado juice!


Tinkering in the workshop

I’m afraid that we’ve been a bit boring recently.  We’re building a new workshop, which is a slow process, but it’s nearly complete, so things should really be buzzing soon here.

In the meantime, I wanted to share some fantastic pictures of a solar water heater that Bernard developed using old fluorescent light tubes.  He had built one for his father’s house three years ago and people started asking him about it, so he decided to make the unit a bit bigger (50 liters of water per day). and a prototype for a blender that he’s hoping to attach to a bicycle.  It feels like all of our energy is going into getting this workshop finished, so it’s always exciting when I look up and see that Bernard is tinkering with something new.  In fact, several people have been asking about the solar water heater and we have two orders already.

Clockwise from top left:  Bernard opening the tap on his solar water heater that we keep on hand to show to prospective customers; Oscar (one of our young mechanics) welding the frame of a solar water heater that a customer has ordered; Oscar grinding down the weld; the solar water heater in progress; and the finished product.

Clockwise from top left:  Bernard showing off the pitcher that he made; an upclose view of the pitcher (using a standard water pitcher sold in the Arusha market); the base of the pitcher; all the pieces laid out on the workbench; the drive mechanism.