Desert Hot Springs student clean energy program inspires return of African inventor 13 years later



33-year-old Malawian author and inventor William Kamkwamba returned to the Coachella Valley on Friday to visit a class of students enrolled in a renewable energy program at Desert Hot Springs High School.

William Kamkwamba chats with REAL students at Desert Hot Springs High School

The recently unveiled facility inspired Kamkwamba to build an innovation center in Malawi to continue to inspire the next generation in the same way it was over a decade ago.

Kamkwamba told News Channel 3: “If you give young people opportunities, tools, mentorship, they will be able to come up with great ideas. This is what I’m working on.

About 13 years ago, Kamkwamba came from Malawi with his friend and mentor Tom Rielly from the TED conferences.

Kamkwamba is the author of a bestselling book, “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind”, after visiting the Wintec Turbine Park in 2007 and being inspired to bring this type of technology to his home country.

At the age of 14, Kamkwamba began to gain international recognition for building a windmill from random objects he found on farms near his home, which eventually became the first source of energy for his village.

Kamkwamba’s visit to Desert Hot Springs High School allowed him to share his story in person with students who are currently learning about clean and renewable energy sources.

REAL Students at Desert Hot Springs High School

The program, called REAL, also allows students to gain hands-on experience and practical application of skills taught in the classroom.

KidWind Project at Desert Hot Springs High School

REAL students also participate in KidWind competitions.

KidWind Project at Desert Hot Springs High School

Tune into News Channel 3 at 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. to learn more about how REAL students are inspiring renewable energy development in other parts of the world and how the passion of a young inventor continues to impact. drive beyond his village in Africa.



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