As you start to read this post, take a moment to think about how much electronic waste you either have around your house right now, or that you’ve disposed of recently. I personally can account for several computer displays, old computers, a television, countless keyboards, mice, webcams, and other peripherals. And don’t even start talking about cords.
So much of this junk ends up in the garbage for many of us, but one social entrepreneur is looking to do something more with our electronic waste, and he might just be able to make a difference not just in our landfills, but in the lives of children in third-world countries.
And we can all do something to help him.
The man’s name is Dhairya Dand. He is a researcher at Keio-NUS CUTE Center and Mixed Reality Lab in Singapore and the name of his project is “ThinkerToys.” A while back, Dand took notice of a ton of electronic waste/junk in a landfill in Cambodia, and at the same time, he saw a bunch of young kids working at the landfill (that is, they weren’t in school.) So Dand came up with the idea of taking electronic waste that would otherwise disintegrate over the course of the next thousand years in a landfill, and turn it all into useful tools for third-world kids to learn. Dand is collecting people’s old keyboards, speakers, displays, and more, and using them to create the learning toys.
According to ElectronicProducts.com, Dand has already created several toys such as the Keyano, a keyboard that is a piano, Randomath, a keyboard with an LED screen that show math puzzles, and Storynory, a device with pre-recorded audiobooks.
Dand is looking for help in a number of ways, including programming assistance. Those interested in learning more can visit the ThinkerToys website.