MakeGlow

MakeGlow is an easy-to-assemble, low cost, fully functional solar lantern made of recycled cardboard. It is intended to be built by students between 13-17 years from schools in rural India as part of an educational module. The product is designed to create awareness about solar technology through a hands-on experience in classrooms where students build their own MakeGlows. 

MakeGlow has been awarded the Second place (from a pool of over 300 ideas) under the Energy and Resource Alternatives category in the Big Ideas 2016-2017 competition at UC Berkeley. 

How does it work?

The $5 MakeGlow kit consists of Solar LED components and a traceable template. Students first trace the template on a piece of recycled cardboard. They cut the shape, fold it and attach the components to it to build their own fully functional solar lantern.

design process - form explorations with cardboard

MakeGlow - Final Design

easy to assemble

The folds are intuitive and can be easily done. The cardboard needs to be scored along the fold lines for achieving perfect folds. The lantern structure is secured with two paper fasteners that connect two flaps on the sides of the lamp. 

DSC02109  edit.JPG

Power source

A 5V solar panel is used to charge a 3.5V Li-ion battery that in turn powers a 3.6V LED light strip. The electronic components are inserted in square slots (also cut on cardboard using the template).

the folding process

the makeglow infographic

user testing at studio H, Berkeley

In order to test if students are actually able to trace, cut, fold cardboard into solar lanterns and insert solar LED components in the structure, I conducted an hour long workshop session at the Girls Garage for a group of 15 girls between 9-13 years. I demonstrated the step-by-step lantern building process and the girls followed my lead. All of them were able to make their lanterns successfully without major failures that helped validate my concept.

user testing at HCI Matriculation school, chennai

This classroom in Chennai consisting of 36 students (7th graders) was divided into 8 groups for the MakeGlow fabrication activity. All groups were successfully able to build fully functional MakeGlow lanterns. Students expressed their interest in learning the technical concepts behind the working of solar technology.

MakeGlow Branding

product photography

Awards aNd recognition

MakeGlow has been awarded the Second place (from a pool of over 300 ideas) under the Energy and Resource Alternatives category in the Big Ideas 2016-2017 competition at UC Berkeley. 

MakeGlow has also been awarded Honorable Mention at The Grand Prize pitch day event, Big Ideas, UC Berkeley.

MakeGlow is the recipient of the Poverty Alleviation through Sustainable Solutions (PASS) Grant by the Blum Center for Developing Economies, UC Davis.

Also do check the MakeGlow website: www.makeglow.com