Student-Led Solutions: The sOccket

Published on 27 August 2009

Anyone got a lightbulb? After a game, this sOccket is ready for testing.

This post is the first in a series on students who are taking action against poverty and hunger. Today, we introduce a handful of innovative Harvard students who have launched sOccket, a soccer ball that turns energy from a kick into electricity. Over 1.6 billion people live in areas beyond the reach of power grid connections. Without sufficient energy supplies, developing nations continue to fall behind in economic development. The sOccket team hopes to help change that. They have been working in Paris and South Africa, testing a prototype.

If you know of any students who are changing the world with their imagination and innovation, email the WFP Youth Outreach Team.

From the sOccket team

Soccer. Football. Calcio. Fussball. People call it by different names, which attests to how soccer is the most loved and played sport in the world. Capitalizing on this popularity, we address the problem of unreliable or unavailable electricity in the developing world with a "soccer ball" that provides more than just play.

Over 1.6 billion people in the world live in areas beyond the reach of power grid connections. Important activities like agriculture, industry, and business, which all require some basic level of electricity, cannot achieve productive levels after sundown. A lack of power is endemic amongst the impoverished, and poverty is directly connected to high infant and maternal mortality, illiteracy, and lowered life expectancy. Without sufficient energy supplies, developing nations continue to fall behind in economic development.

Our innovation is the sOccket, a soccer ball with the capacity to harness the energy of interaction with the ball during game-play for later use as a power source. It is a portable energy-harvesting device in the form of a soccer ball that captures the impact energy normally dissipated when the ball is kicked, storing it to charge batteries and lights. This supplemental electricity can improve health and environment, and promote education and community building.

The sOccket will partner with local organizations in South Africa to establish programs to teach and organize play with the sOccket. Moreover, we plan to expand the sOccket to developed nations as a high-end tech toy, which will subsidize the price of the sOccket to developing nations.

You can learn more about how sOccket is changing the world by visiting www.sOccket.com.
 

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