fbpx

Cutting down the competition

Grade 7 group, handy with their hands, help out the community with electric mower construction.
Grade 7 group, handy with their hands, help out the community with electric mower construction

Innovation: Check.

Motivation: Check.

Solutions to problems: Of course!

These three primary school students are cutting time and effort out of an everyday job to make life easier for their community.

While the buzz of a lawnmower may be a normal part of any average neighbourhood weekend in the developed world, it’s also the sound of a convenience we often take for granted.

In Tanzania cutting the grass is back-breaking labour, something Grade 7 students Goodluck, Mikidadi and Boniface set their sights on to change.

“We tried to make something that will help in our community,” said Goodluck, whose co-inventors agreed that parents, or their loving kids, would find cutting grass easier with their simple electric lawnmower.

“(Without it) you would use a slasher. It’s very hard work.”

The hard work this innovative trio put into constructing their concept saw them take out third prize in our recent 6th annual Science Fair – the very first time a primary school group has won a spot in the top three!

“We worked on building it for two weeks, but the idea we had for a while before then,” Goodluck explained.

“We feel proud (to have won third place).”

Got to hand it to them: The back-breaking labour of 'slashing' the lawn need be no more with the boys' basic lawnmower.
Got to hand it to them: The back-breaking labour of ‘slashing’ the lawn need be no more with the boys’ basic lawnmower.

Mr Mcharo, St Jude’s Head of Physical Science Department and Assistant Academic Master, was full of praise for the young inventors.

“Our students have been proving themselves nationally for the last six years but we’ve never had a group of primary school students invent something as impressive as this lawnmower,” Mr Mcharo said.

“We asked the students to come up with solutions for the problems in their communities. What they came up with is a great way to make labor less intensive, and I have confidence that they will integrate solar power in the years to come.”

Boniface, Mikidadi and Goodluck said construction was hard work, but their families were very pleased with them and it was something they were happy to have completed themselves.

They scavenged around for the parts they needed, from materials to build the outer shell, tyres and a fan blade, and asked for some wood glue to help their dream come together.

When the only blade, or fan, they could get ahold of was not made as sturdily as they had wanted, the team saw it simply as a challenge to overcome.

Scavenger hunt: Boniface, Goodluck and Mikidadi searched high and low for the parts they needed to make their dream invention come true.
Scavenger hunt: Boniface, Goodluck and Mikidadi searched high and low for the parts they needed to make their dream invention come true.

“So we added a switch to add the power. It goes from volume 1 to 3 power,” Boniface said.

“If the grasses are really hard, you would use (volume) 3,” Mikidadi added.

The award-winning team of 14-year-olds plan to continue working together on projects that they have brewing, but are yet to be made official.

“We are still working on ideas,” Goodluck said.

We can’t wait to see what they come up with next!

Show our enthusiastic students some support for their hard work! Donate to Learning Resources today.

To make sure parcels arrive and incur no expenses for the school

  • Please do NOT register or insure any mail as it costs the school at least USD $25 in taxes at our end.
  • Mark all parcels as being “second-hand goods” or “personal gifts”.
  • Ensure the description of goods written on the parcel matches the actual items inside as customs and postal staff frequently inspect contents of parcels.
  • Please label all parcels clearly with the first and last name of the recipient and your full name.
  • Please put the value of the package at no more than US$10 (the lower the better).
  • Ensure that your parcel is LESS THAN 2KG. We have been advised that parcels less than 2KG are technically tax-free regardless of content, but this is not guaranteed by all postal workers.
 

Tax-free items include books, personal goods and anything that is not new. Used goods, used clothes, etc…(please remove labels and packaging from all items before sending them)

Keep in mind that parcels sent by airmail can take up to four months to get here (sea mail is even longer – often 12+ months!), so don’t worry if it takes a while for us to let you know the parcel has arrived.