May 18, 2011

The Creative Minds team finally arrived in Kenya. Our flight was a little rough but we all survived. We spent about an hour waiting to get our visa. All our bags arrived; we were so glad, right after collecting all the bags we waited for the other team to arrive so we could head to the hotel. We finally loaded up the Matutu (mini bus) and headed to our hotels, The Hotel Downtown and Terminal Hotel, to finally unload and relax.

by Linda

May 19, 2011
We ate breakfast at a local coffee shop, Dove Cage, in Nairobi. As a group we proceeded to take a tour of the city. Paul Maina, a volunteer at the CYEC (Children and Youth Empowerment Center), gave us the tour. The most eye opening experience of the trip thus far was visiting the largest slums south of the Sahara (“Kibira”). We as a group felt very unsafe passing through the slums however we felt much compassion for the people. It is a very sad sight and provides a new found appreciation for the simple things in life. On the other hand, one highlight of the day was that we fed the wild vervet monkeys in a local university arboretum. The monkeys are very human like and extremely smart. To finish off the day, we ate at a local restaurant where we tasted cultural cooking. The team agreed that the food was very good.

National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA):

We continued our day with a tour by Griffins Ochieng (Programs Officer for iLima.) “iLima” is a Kenya organization designed to control and oversee “Environmental Conservation through Sustainable Development.” We toured many different destinations. Visiting NEMA (National Environmental Management Authority) was very constructive for our business idea and the feasibility of our project. Wangari Kihara (Principal Corporate Communication Officer) presented an overview of the organization as well as provided direction for our ideas. She stressed the importance of the electronic waste issue and is interested in how their organization can help and will fit into our business plan. Ms. Kihara was also very helpful for providing insight into the problems with hazardous waste disposal. We look forward to obtaining some reference materials as well as contacting her in the future in hopes of partnering for a common goal.

by Josh

May 20, 2011

Today we got a chance to visit a couple sites. We started our day visiting Fab-Lab, which was walking distance to our hotel, iHub, and Computer for Schools.


FabLab is located at the Nairobi University. When we arrived, Professor Gachigi walked us around the part of the school that they refer to as their FabLab. Their FabLab is a fabrications training center which is a hub for students at the University or some select High school grads to get their hands on pieces of technology that they normally wouldn’t have access to. The first part of the tour was extremely helpful because it included what Professor Gachigi was working on currently, and where he hopes to take it.

The first couple of articles that we looked at included charts and pictures of past projects that were made in the FabLab. These included a movable, flexible, bio-gas bag, what did not require being dug into the earth or a retaining wall, and could be moved to homes and be fed off of human or animal waste, to harvest the gas for cooking, heat, or with the larger units even a generator. We saw an old bicycle that was converted to a suction device for cleaning out the human waste pits in locations like Kibira (one of the largest slums in the world) and to aid in the factor of sanitation. We were then introduced to some incredibly intelligent students that were making their own circuitry diagrams for hardware on other projects. These students were only in their first or second year but they already had the knowledge of some students from Penn-state that would be in their fourth year. These students spend countless hours self training outside of regular classes, something rarely seen in the rest of the world’s students. On large initiative that the FabLab is working on, is taking expensive machinery and making a simple and cost effective version to sell to the local areas of Nairobi to expand the knowledge and trade skills on machinery that could in-turn make them money.

As we talked with Professor Gachigi, he explained that as the workmanship and affordability goes up, that the government of Kenya is hoping to make Kenya into a Middle Income country by 2030. The big problem that they are currently facing but are working at is the low enrollment rate and the number of girls mixed in with the group. They are currently starting a gender initiative to post more to the woman of Nairobi about further education.

We then were shown the other machines and tools that they have, and it turned out to be very impressive. They have a 2 axis mill that they have also converted for use with a flame cutter, a circuit board cutter, micro-controller programmer, 3D model viewer and cutter, and a large set of electrical testing equipment. The quickness that the young adults and adults picked up these skills was very impressive.

Overall, the trip was very rewarding with a great sight into what the future for further schooling has for the students in Nairobi University. We hope that Professor Gachigi will continue his efforts with us, visit the CYEC on Friday (May 27 2011), and to help with continued support to the CEYC.

by Jeff


Today the Creative Minds team visited iHub in Nairobi. It is an innovation center located at the rooftop of a large building overlooking the city. It has been in service since April 2010. When we arrived we were greeted by a gentleman by the name of Bernard Adongo, Bernard is a technologist at the iHub. He shared with us the history and the objectives of the iHub. The iHub is used as a “business incubator,” it is where entrepreneurs can get a head start at starting a small business. They can do research and network with other members. The members are broken into three categories; red members, green members, and white members; there are three-thousand members made up of researchers, creative people, and developers. What is great about the iHub is that any and all profits that are made will go back into the business. For example, while we visited iHub, we also took a tour of Nai-Lab (Nairobi Lab) and M:Lab; which is an area where small businesses can physically set up shop, and possibly use it as a test run. It was great to visit this destination because there were many young entrepreneurs from all over the world. For more information on iHub and M:Lab please visit, and

by Krystle

Computer for Schools (CFSK) Recycling Centre

After visiting iHub, our team took about an hour drive to visit Computer for Schools; a non-profit organization propelling Kenya in the digital age. Computer for Schools opened about 4 months ago, partnering with CFSK in Canada. Currently CFSK has four locations and two of the locations are Nyeri and Mumbas. The two main people in charge of the CFSK in Nyeri are Muhammad and Seth Munyambu.
When we arrived to CFSK we met with Seth Munyambu, E-waste Management Officer, and Mr. Muhammad who kindly introduced our team to the CFSK team and toured us around the facility. CFSK is built from metal storage containers that stored different items such as a massive amount of motherboards. CFSK distributes about 4,000 refurbished computers in a year to help schools around the area. Their three main sponsors are Zubabox from Computer Aid International and Firefly, Get2net, and Partnership worldwide.

Muhammad explained the daily duties the CFSK team works on when dismantling computers. First they separate computer components into piles by categories such as, one pile of plastic, the other are cords, then metals, monitors, and lastly motherboards. Muhammad opened one of the storage containers and amazingly it was full of motherboards. Students from Muside Muliro University who focus on e-waste work at the CFSK on cleaning any computers donated. They inspect the computer for usability, restore the system, and/or fix any hardware necessary for the computer to be reused. In addition, they fix printers and refill cartages for reuse as well as recycle monitors to create TV’s. Muhammad also mentioned how CFSK uses e-waste computer cords for TV antennas and melts the metals to make usable things. For the plastic, CFSK has a grinder machine they use to grind all the plastic from computers that are not usable for schools.

Another project CFSK have accomplished is the ability to provide internet for the town. The two sponsors Get2net, consumer satellite service organization, provides direct2home unlimited broadband satellite internet and Zubabox, an organization that provides internet hubs, provide solar internet hub connectivity for the community from Computer Aid International. With both of these organizations, CFSK was also able to create a virtual computer lab using ncomputing thin-client computer network powered by solar panels to provide the internet for the town in a lab, called Zubabox, located at the CFSK.

by Linda

After our lovely day trips, we finally got a chance to sit down and hang out with everyone from Penn State. We went to eat dinner at a Ethiopian Restaurant. The entire team really had a great time hanging out and eating food. Overall, the entire day was very productive.

May 22, 2011

How can the CYEC really be explained?  There most likely are no words in any language to really describe the feelings and emotions one can experience here at the CYEC.  Today the group met with Sam Kairu, creator of the “Art preuneurship program”, at the computer center in the CYEC for a tour of the computer center, the art studio, and the metal shop.  We first established a course of action for what we needed to work on, as well as taking in the thoughts of Sam, in regards to how we could implement the e-waste project here at the CEYC.  For today, the e-waste team had a sit down meeting for a couple of hours that encompassed what the main objects and lesson plan we were to incorporate during the trip. From the computer room, we headed to the art studio, in which we found the perfect work space for our seminars of training as well as some amazing art pieces!  The art teacher, which in fact is Sam Kairu has done great strides in pulling the true artist out of the children and older inhabitants of the CYEC.

We then walked across the way to a small area of the compound that had their metal fabrication welding shop.  Within this shop we found a small MIG welder, an angle grinder, and a hammer. Unfortunately, that is all there was, no screw driver, no spreader, no pliers, nothing.  We currently have most of those tools with us, and we will be leaving them behind for the shop.  We also observed a couple of children that were welding with zero eye protection, which as a welding student would tell you, is VERY dangerous.

After our meeting in the upper room of the office headquarters, the group had come up with an agenda, a lesson plan, and a series of concepts to work out what should be covered in what order to keep the students both interested and wanting to learn more.

Later that day after dinner, we met with the other PSU students in the mess hall, and discussed the direction of the programs, and how both programs could blend together in some places for a better unity of spreading knowledge.  We also sat down with Issa Adam, Benard Odaur, Magdalene Njeri, Duncan Kagai, and Kevin Caltiru, Creators of the Zawadi Youth Enterprises. After dinner we discussed what it is that they are doing there at the center.  They have created a members committee of committed persons to the goal of helping troubled, poor, and disabled children to get from the center on to primary school.  They also shared with us the Zawadi Youth Enterprise By-Laws which are as follows:

  1. To provide business incubation services for the students and graduates of the CYEC.
  2. Facilitate the creation of gainful employment for the graduates of the CYEC
  3. Provide training and other capacity building services for the youth entrepreneurs
  4. Encourage productive and healthy use of the leisure time that the youth have
  5. To provide youth leadership development services
  6. To promote an entrepreneurial culture among the youth
  7. To promote self reliance and spirit for the young peoples
  8. The night was over all very involved and very interesting.

by  Jeff

May 23, 2011

“Art is art whether it is in Europe, China, Brazil, or Africa; we are all family”


Today the Creative Minds team hung out with Sam. Sam is the director of the art program at the CYEC in Nyeri. Sam and the team took a trip in a matatu (mini bus) to town to visit Mama Jeri, her sister Suzy, and her husband Francis. They are jewelry makers who sell their pieces at the largest market in Nairobi; Maasai Market. They welcomed us into their home and shared all of their great pieces of wearable art. They had jewelry made from wood, horn, porcupine quills, cow bones, seeds, ostrich eggs and even spine of a fish. They physically and personally shape the beads to their liking; making each piece more unique than the next. Our primary reason for visiting Mama Jeri and her family was to get their opinion on our idea of electronic waste jewelry and in result everyone won. Mama Jeri believed that our idea was great; she felt that it would do well because it is something Kenya hasn’t seen and Mama Jeri made business because every member in our group bought and placed orders with her.

Afterwards, we took a short stroll through Nyeri Market, and ended up in NEMA (National Environmental Management Authority) Nyeri district. There we spoke with Oras Muniltri who is the environment officer at NEMA. Mr. Muniltri was such a huge help. He shared with us all of the regulations, laws and the licensing steps in regards to waste disposal. Kenya currently does not have a licensed landfill. There are several incinerators throughout Nairobi that are not meeting NEMA standards. The waste is not being picked up on time; which in result leaves huge piles of waste sitting on the side of the road. The correct way of disposing the waste is by giving it to someone who is licensed to do so. To become licensed there are a couple of steps:

1.   Licensing a transportation vehicle. This is the vehicle you will use to hold the waste and to carry it away. You will need to fill out an application, a picture of the vehicle, and a fee.

2.   Licensing a sight. This is the area or ground space that will house the waste. This is the most important step, because NEMA does not want the waste to just end up on the street.

As a team we were also interested in the venues needed to take to launch this project and to make Kenya aware of our idea and plan. Mr. Muniltri suggested that the best way is to air a commercial on a local program station. For example, Tahidi High is the highest rated program in Kenya. He felt that placing a commercial during that show would give us the highest success rate.

When we arrived back to the CYEC the Creative Minds team started their first electronic waste workshop, which was a huge success. To find out more about our daily workshop please click on the “workshop” link located on the top.

Asante Sana (Thank you very much)

by Krystle

May 24, 2011

Today we ventured into town and obtained some supplies for the CYEC. We bought candles and matches for our jewelry projects. After returning from town, we proceeded to create a few pieces of jewelry from desktop computers to use as examples in our workshop demonstrations. The workshop was started around 3pm and demonstrations were provided on how to make bracelets, necklaces and other pieces of jewelry. The candle was used to heat up tools and poke holes in keyboard keys. The candle was also used to melt wires together to create bracelets. The students were then given their own time to use their imagination and come up with their own style of jewelry. The items that were created by the Kenyan youth were extremely creative. They have a lot of ingenuity and learn quickly. As a team we have observed the individuality of the students and we are trying to tailor our workshops to embrace their ideas. After the workshops were completed, we had a short meeting to converse about the workshop and plan for the following day. To finish off the day, we went to town for dinner at the “Banana Leaf” and had some time to relax.

by Josh

May 25, 2011

“I’ve worked, I’ve struggled and I don’t want to see others

struggle and if I can help someone,

I will.”

-Patrick Ngatia

On this fine sunny Wednesday afternoon the Creative Minds team (minus Linda who stayed behind to work on an IT and Virtual Computing project) took a trip in the matatu with Sam “the artist” to town. We pulled up in an area that is located on the border of the Nyeri slums. When we got out of the matatu we took a rather short walk to “Alfastar Industries: The cottage industries research, development and training center.” There we met a scarred faced man, who has used his past as a rocket ship to launch him into the strong, passionate and driven man he is today.

Patrick Ngatia owner of Alfastar Industries postponed his trip to Zambia that afternoon to meet with the Creative Minds team. We appreciate him taking time to share his story which is very inspirational.

When Mr. Ngatia was a kid he always had dreams of flying and becoming an aircraft mechanic. His classmates always called him “scientist” because with every free moment he had, it was used experimenting. Unfortunately, after grade school he wanted to attend a tech school, but even though he excelled in the sciences he did poorly in mathematics. Therefore he decided to join the Kenya air force, passed the aptitude test and in result became an air force technician, where he worked on electronics. Due to a corrupted government, Patrick Ngatia was dismissed from the air force; but not even that kept Mr. Ngatia away from his dreams. He wanted to attend a university in America, so he applied for a passport but, of course he was denied. (He was recently approved for a passport, but he feels that at his age, there is no need.) Afterwards, he went in to welding where he produced wheel-barrels. From there he started his own workshop which focused on casting and glazing windows. He also produced window fasteners, where he took the role as sales person and went from business to business trying to get others to use and buy his product. Sadly, he was competing with a company in China that was producing the same item at a cheaper cost. Patrick then moved on to the next best thing which was Fiber Concrete Tiles. He applied for a loan with a small enterprise finance company, but just like everything else he did not qualify. Mr. Patrick Ngatia then proceeded to elaborate on his troubled past by fulfilling our curiosity of the large scar located across his face. He explained that he was attacked by thugs, who hit him across the face with a machete but he lives to tell his story.

If any normal human being had the past that Mr. Ngatia has had, I believe they would have given up; but, Mr. Patrick Ngatia is no normal human being.

Currently, Patrick Ngatia is experimenting with different plants and fruits, like, lemon grass, sandalwood, avocado, and mabula (“it can make an elephant drunk”). He is using different techniques to extract all of the natural oils, and then using them for a multitude of reasons. He is also experimenting with different bio-degradable materials (elephant grass, coffee husks, and rice husks) to use in the production of briquettes. After our meeting he gave us a tour of his workshop and briefly showed us how the briquettes, which are comparable to charcoal, are made.

The Creative Minds team was in awe after our meeting with Patrick Ngatia. He is such an inspiration and it is great to see a man aspire to do what he so long strived to accomplish.

by Krystle

May 26, 2011

Today Creative Minds team and a few CYEC staff had a beautiful two hour drive back to Nairobi to visit Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). When we arrived, we were amazed how beautiful this university is and how the landscaping was set up. As we enter the university, our team was directed to the College of Engineering and Technology (COETEC) building. We were introduced to Prof. Phelista Wangui who kindly gave us a tour as we walked to Prof. Henry M. Bwisa’s, professor of the Entrepreneurship department, office in the assembly building. Prof. Bwisa and Prof. Wangui directed us to Iravo Mike Amuhaya, Chairman of the Entrepreneurship and Procurement Department, office to have a meeting in regards to our e-waste project. Dr. Amuhaya kindly invited us to his office to have some coffee while the team explains our training book and the project details.

During our conversations, we had a chance to learn a little more information about JKUAT and how JKUAT and Creative Minds can collaborate together to further expand the e-waste project.

Information about Jomo Kenyatta University of Argiculture and Technology (JKUAT):

JKUAT currently has 7 independent departments and currently growing.

The university offer Bachelors degree on:

  • Architecture & Building Science,
  •  Human Resource Development,
  • Electronical, Electronic & Information Engineering,
  • Mechanical, Manufacturing & Material Engineering,
  • Civil-Environmental & Geospatial Engineering,
  • School of Law

Presently, JKUAT began offering Master Degrees, Business Classes, and Procurement Classes. Dr. Amuhaya explained how each department is given opportunities for international experience and feels that our project can be taken over by their students. Dr. Amuhaya was extremely excited to hear about the project and after being asked the question: Do you think JKUAT students can work on this after Creative Minds leaves Kenya? Dr. Amuhaya said, “Yes, there is a big room for this collaboration.” Between Prof. Bwisa, Prof. Wangui, and Dr. Amuhaya they all agreed to fully support our project and assign 2 JKUAT students to continue the project. Interestingly to know, JKUAT students have a similar project but at the moment they are unable to continue implementing the next phase due to obstacle issues on not having the correct information and knowledge on how to implement.

In the fall semester 2010, ENGR 310 – Entrepreneurial Leadership class at Penn State Berks collaborated with JKUAT’s Architecture students to write a business plan on going green in Kenya. There were 7 different groups working on 7 different projects. After our meeting with Dr. Amuhaya, we had a chance to meet some of the JKUAT students. Today was the first time both Penn State Berks and JKUAT students had the chance to meet in person. We met Christina, a 6 year Architecture student, and Freda. As we walked to meet Dr. Elegwa Mukulu, Dean of the School of Human Resource Development department, both Freda and Christina provided us with great information about the University. Our walk was very interesting and the information provided was very knowledgeable and interesting. When we finally arrived to Dr. Mukulu’s office, we were kindly invited to sit and discuss Creative Minds Project. Dr. Mukulu was very interested in what we had to offer and fully supports our idea; in addition, supports JKUAT student’s collaboration with Penn State Berks.

Finally, we had a chance to tour the Architecture building before having our last meeting. In conclusion our meeting was finalized with a full support of JKUAT and collaboration between both institutions.

The visit to JKUAT was very productive, lunch was wonderful, and meeting the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga and hearing her thoughts about our project was very nice.

Vizuri Sana (Very Nice)

By Linda

May 27, 2011

Today was a very relaxed day. After breakfast we had a brief meeting just to catch every up on what each member of the team was up to. Before we started workshop #4 Jeff and Josh visited the metal shop that is located here at the CYEC, and they pre-cut different designs using a circuit board. These pieces were used as examples for the children. Jeff created a leaf like pattern out of a circuit board, which looked pretty awesome. Then it was time for our workshop. During this time Linda was working on her IT and Virtual Computing project. Overall the workshop went very well. If you would like to read more about that, please check out the Workshop tab. Once the workshop was over we decided to play with the children and teach them a little on the reason why we are here and what our mission is. Dr. Kulturel brought with her an “I Spy” board game, but to incorporate an e-waste factor we changed the rules ever so slightly. We had a bag full of keyboard keys, and each child had to choose a key out of the bag without looking and whatever letter they picked, they had to find an object on that board that started with that letter. The children seemed to enjoy the game. They are very smart. Sadly, Linda and I were put to shame, because the children think on their toes and they are very observant. After the game we handed out lollipops which were a HUGE hit. The Creative Minds team ate dinner, and our day came to a close.

by Krystle

May 28, 2010

The creative minds team made jewelry this morning in the CYEC fabrication shop. The shop has few supplies and the jewelry was crafted by hand using only a hacksaw, file, needle-nose pliers, screwdrivers and a vice. The examples created were used as class demonstrations and to stimulate creativity in the CYEC inhabitants. The team also traveled back to Mama Jerry’s in hopes of buying some of her jewelry and learning jewelry making tips to pass on to the youth and children. The evening consisted of a business meeting to talk about and set a direction for the workshops on Tuesday and Wednesday. On these days we will be having visitors from JKAUT University. We are networking with the university in hopes of creating a partnership where the CYEC kids can get advice and mentors for making jewelry and life’s lessons.

by Josh 

May 29, 2010 and May 30, 2010 (Safari Trip)

The safari was a life changing experience to witness God’s Creatures in their wild habit. The sheer size and power behind the animals of Africa really set a person back in their shoes. The country side is beautiful and breathtaking. There are not enough words to suffice in describing the country side without gaping at the landscape with your own eyes. The team also stayed in a very warm, cozy ranch for one night in between Sunday and Monday (the two safari days.) The hospitality cannot be matched as Petra Allmendinger, owner of African Footprints and our tour guide, was incredibly nice, helpful and catering. I am truly blessed to have these experiences! I also hope that I will continue to make a difference in the lives of the children at the CYEC!

 by Josh 

Today was possibly one of the greatest things that I have ever seen. The weather was beautiful and the sights were even better. Prior to taking this trip to Kenya, I purchased giraffe earrings at The Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. and I made a pact with myself that I will not take my earrings off until I saw a giraffe. Long and behold I saw a giraffe and not just one, but an entire herd, therefore my earrings have officially retired. The sight of this completely made my trip and it made me very happy. Both the safari and lodging lived beyond my own expectations; and if I ever have the opportunity to do it over again, I would.

by Krystle

Our Safari overnight trip to Solio and Aberderas was such a unique experience and hard to describe in words.  Creative Minds team enjoyed it very much and such a break from our busy work schedule was very worthwhile.

Dr. Kulturel

The safari trip was an amazing experience. The fresh air, beautiful sky, the scenery, and most of all, the animals was the best unique experience I ever experienced. I am an animal lover and to see these beautiful animals out in the wild was amazing and breath taking.  I wanted to take them all home! Even the warthogs…

“They are so cute, I just want to take them home”

by Linda

How can a safari be explained in words. A trip filled with curiosity of animals otherwise only seen through thick glass at some zoo or stuffed at a museum. There truly was nothing like seeing these animals within a couple of feet that really makes the aspect of a safari unique. Our safari was a 2 day 1 night trip, through Solio Ranch and the Abedares National Park. Petra, our guide who funny enough was from Germany that decided to live here in Kenya for the last 24 years, was a fantastic host, guide, and made the whole experience feel like home. Petra is running something of the sort of a Bed and Breakfast location here in Nyeri that was much more a home, and less like a resort. Beds were fantastic, food was phenomenal, and the accommodations otherwise were not to be beat for the price.

The first safari was something out of a story tale. We came across hundreds of warthogs, a male lion, and quite a number of rare predatory birds, such as the crowned eagle, tawny eagle, and the butler eagle. Half way through this safari we got to relax with some European styled pizza and a drink, under a Acacia tree, staring down some rhino’s in the distance. After lunch we got to see a number of water bucks, water buffalo, and the same male lion taking a snooze in the shade under a tree. What an experience!
On the second safari, we were dropped into a oasis of lush trees, bamboo, and glimmering saw grass. This was a good separation from the original dead space feel that was present in Solio Ranch due to the large amount of dead and dry grasses, much like you would expect in a normal safari. This trip would be the turning point for understanding one of the large problems facing vehicles in Africa, dirty gas. As the engine started to take a dive around 60 miles into the park, the gears kept slipping, the engine starting stalling… and we were on a steep incline with no power. After about 10 attempts, the engine was finally out for good. After trying bump starting the car in reverse, which was awfully interesting to start with, the drive decided to turn left instead of right, getting our safari truck stuck in a ditch! After the 3 pennstate guys (Ed, Jeff, Josh), and the 2 drivers started to push this truck, we made it an impressive 4 feet. After a little rocking of the truck, it was no longer stuck, and the repairs could be started. Lunch took place around a waterfall location that was very interesting. After everyone had eaten, we stared a small little trek down quite an incline to the base of a waterfall between 50-60 feet high. After being drenched by the waterfall, yes we stood right next to it, the hike back up was demanding due to the altitude of the location. A fresh change of clothes, and the drive back was started. During the last couple of minutes of the trip, we saw a herd of 13 Elephants, including 2 matriarchs and a couple of babies. The last interesting animal of the trip was a wonderful Hyena that was sleeping in the open trails.
Over all a GREAT trip, well worth the time, the money, and I think anyone and everyone should experience it at some point!

May 31, 2011

Today the Creative Minds team and the members of the CYEC had a very pleasant visit from the department head-Iravo Mike Amuhaya, faculty members- Prof. Phelista Wangui and Prof. Henry M. Bwisa, and three students at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKAUT). When they arrived to the CYEC, they were given a tour of the facility, followed by lunch and a brief meeting. During this time Linda and I were working with Issac Mwangi a journalist who is helping us prepare our video that will briefly outline our trip here in Kenya. Meanwhile Jeff gave a very important workshop (to read more about that please click on the Workshop tab.) This visit was very important to everyone involved: JKAUT, the CYEC, and the members of the Creative Minds team. This reinsured that our mission and ultimate goal will follow through strong with everyone’s help. At the end everyone seemed excited and happy to work on this project and to see where it goes.

by Krystle

June 1, 2011

Today the CreativeMinds Team made four hard drive clocks from single disc server drives. Nairobi University FabLab students came to visit the CYEC to gain a better understanding of how they can help further our project. They want to work with the CYEC in continuing our project to help make a difference in the community as well as support the youth. We gave a description of how the clock can be made with simple hand tools and a power drill. The FabLab students conducted a workshop of their own to demonstrate the principles of hands on electronics and basic programming. The system they used was called “The Pico Cricket” and was a great tool for demonstration and instructional purposes. A meeting was held with the FabLab group and Dr. Gacchigi to discuss future collaborations and delegate responsibilities of the project. Dr. Gacchigi agreed to take a closer look into using acid bathes to recover precious metals as well as disposing of hazardous materials. Since, we as a team are not well versed in the politics, rules and standards of the Kenya political structure; his help is of great importance and necessity to the project. The CreativeMinds team presented Dr. Gacchigi with a hard drive clock as a commemoration of the collaborations between the CYEC, Nairobi University and the CreativeMinds team.

by Josh

June 2, 2011

Today was our last day in Kenya. Creative minds team spent the morning updating the blog and finishing up all last minutes projects. We then got all our bags ready and finish our last minute packing as well as taking our last photos at the CYEC with the children and staff. Our matatu arrived around 3:30 p.m. to transport us to the airport.

Saying goodbye to everyone was very emotional and hard. The Creative Minds team made lots of friends and saying goodbye to such wonderful people was an extremely hard. We grow and learn to be around everyone at the CYEC for the pass three weeks and knowing you have to say bye, can be very emotional. However, the exchange of emails and phone numbers took place and now having the ability to keep in touch and continue communication with our new friends will be very exciting.

Creative Minds would like to thank everyone at the CYEC and all the Penn State students and staff that were involved in the CYEC projects. In addition we want to thanks all of the organizations and universities we visited for providing us useful information as well as welcoming us to your facility. We would like to continue on this project and further extend this entrepreneurship opportunity for the CYEC and to elevate the e-waste issue in Kenya.

Thank You!

by Linda



  1. Good to read of all the great work that these students are doing there and I believe they will leave a very positive impression with the people they interact with there as well as provide a basis for their future sucess.

    I look forward to reading more on their activities!

  2. wow good for all of you. this is a great blog! i enjoy looking at it everyday.

  3. Such an incredible opportunity to make a difference! The individuals seem like such an inspiration to your group…..motivated, caring, intelligent and passionate. I look forward to reading and hearing more!

  4. Good job!

  5. I am so proud of the engineers using their fabrication skills! I look forward to discussing future projects for my classes! I’m proud of you.
    Safe trip home.
    Barbara Mizdail

  6. Excellent Job guys.

    Henry Bwisa

  7. I am impressed and proud of the Creative Minds Team at Penn State Berks. Your research and collaboration has inspired people to learn, utilize their resources and become independent!

  8. Recent issue of MERCHANTDIZER ref your trip to Kenya. Reviwed your updates, glad to see PSU BERKS students envolved in this type of work. Thank you.

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