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Students exhibit e-waste jewelry created to benefit youth in Kenya

students exhibit e-waste jewelry

Penn State Berks students are displaying jewelry that they created at the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts during the week of April 22–28, 2012. But this is no ordinary jewelry–rather it is jewelry created from electronic waste to benefit youth in Kenya.

It all began when the Penn State Berks “Creative Minds Team,” comprised of Penn State Berks students, traveled to Kenya from May 17–June 2, 2011, to visit the Children and Youth Empowerment Center (CYEC) in Nyeri, Kenya to teach the youth a skill that would help to sustain them: how to create jewelry from electronic waste and benefit from the profit for future educational advancements.

Throughout this project, Penn State Berks collaborated with Jomo Kenyatta University of Agricultural and Technology (JKUAT). To continue the collaboration, Anthony Munyi, a junior majoring in Electronics and Computer Engineering from JKUAT, is visiting Penn State Berks from April 22–April 28.

This initiative was coordinated by Dr. Sadan Kulturel-Konak, associate professor of Management Information Systems and coordinator of the Engineering Entrepreneurship minor.  

“The idea of creating jewelry out of electronic waste in Kenya was very innovative in many ways: reducing the waste, creating sustainable solutions for the population of street dwelling young people in Kenya, and contributing to youth education” commented Kulturel-Konak.

The Creative Minds Team taught the children from the CYEC about electronic waste, how to dismantle the waste properly, and how to create jewelry and art from the waste.  

This project is funded by a program and course development grant from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA). Kulturel-Konak and Dr. Janelle Larson, associate professor of Agricultural Economics and Head of Engineering, Business, and Computing Division, are investigators on the grant.  

The Creative Minds Team is currently working on marketing the product in the Greater Reading area.  

For more information about the Creative Minds, please see www.ewasteatpsu.wordpress.com.

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