- Per mention in the Youtube video, blog post on design and agency referenced in Harvard Design Magazine and originally written for DSGN AGNC is online here.
For the past few months, the AMP team has engaged e-waste workers within Agbogbloshie. This time, on Saturday the 26th of April, the team organized its latest workshop intended to initiate the conversation with the STEAM world, who form a critical part of the AMP platform. Eventually, these professionals will come together with the e-waste workers and makers in Agbogbloshie to form the AMP makers collective. The knowledge that these professionals bring to the Agbogbloshie site will be useful for achieving AMP targets such as empowering makers to handle e-waste according to best practices and enabling makers to upcycle e-waste into value-added products.
The agenda was to:
- Introduce AMP to the STEAM world, and invite them to apply for summer internships.
- Engage students in hands-on projects that involved building a paper spectroscope, dis-assembly of a microwave oven, a printer and a fan.
The workshop took place at the lower lecture hall of the Physics department in the University of Ghana, Legon. Students from the host physics department, as well as chemistry, computer science and psychology students attended. There were also students from the architecture department of the Central University College. In all, there were 50 participants.
The workshop started with an introduction of the AMP team, followed by an interactive session, during which members of the AMP team engaged in conversation with the students.
After the interaction and lecture, participants were divided into four groups and made to work on the various projects. Each team documented the brand, the year of manufacture, and all other information they considered relevant. They were required to state to the best of their knowledge, which components were in the equipment and to what other uses these could be put.
We discovered that students from the physics department in particular had a fundamental awareness of the nature and uses of parts, as well as how these contributed to the total functioning of the equipment. After this session each team presented its findings to the larger group of participants.
Upon the completion of the workshop, participants by way of evaluation, passed on comments such as:
The program was insightful and inspirational. I am very happy I came and met other brilliant students and how they agitated minds to think critically. A great experience that will stay with me a long time.
A successful workshop in my opinion. I learned a lot and I am happy to know that such great ideas are being implemented. As I leave, my mind is racing through ways I can contribute to this positive revolution.
See photos on Flickr : STEAM Photos
“Map showing the study area.” in Martin Oteng-Ababio, Electronic Waste Management Ghana – Issues and Practices (.pdf)
A conundrum is created as to whether e-waste recycling is an “economic boom or an
environmental doom”. The nexus becomes more complex particularly at Agbogbloshie, the hub of e-waste activities in Ghana, where there is nothing like “waste”; where every object, component, and material has “value”. On the daily basis, computers and televisions are regularly bought and sold, assembled, disassembled, and reassembled. They disintegrate into their constituent materials-plastics, glass,
and metals. Plastic printer cases are smashed with rudimentary tools including hammer, spanner, chisel and even the bare hands.