kelvin doe 15 year old west afri

Kelvin Doe, 15 Year Old West African Inventor and DJ, Is Changing His Community

In Sierra Leone, West Africa, the lights come on as little as once a month!  So, Kelvin Doe, at 15 years old,  decided things needed change.  After many tries, he invented a battery to power lights in people’s houses from recycled parts he found in the trash, including soda, acid and metal, wrapped with tape!

This amazing young man also used trash to make his own FM radio transmitter so that he can allow the youth in his country to debate important issues.  Besides being an inventor, Kelvin is also a DJ and runs a local radio station.  “They call me DJ Focus because I believe if you focus, you can do an invention perfectly,” he said in a video produced by

Kelvin’s invention and brilliance was discovered by one of the world’s greatest places of invention, the Massachussettes Institute of Technology (M.I.T.).   He became the youngest person ever to be invited to M.I.T.’s Visiting Practitioner’s Program after being discovered by David Sengeh, a PhD student in the M.I.T. Media Lab.

Just as Kelvin’s world has expanded by working in the Media Lab, the researchers there had their world expanded by Kelvin.  Check out this inspiring video of Kelvin’s journey to M.I.T.:

Additional Resources:

Topics for Discussion:

  • Why has Kelvin been successful with his inventions?
  • How can inventions make the world a better place?  Can you name some that have?
  • Do you have any ideas for inventions that could improve people’s live or make the world better?

Take Action:

Teacher Features:

  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.


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