Powering Potential’s award-winning programs give students the resources to stimulate their imaginations, improve their educational outcomes, increase their chances of employment, and develop themselves and their communities.
SPARC (Solar Powered Access to Raspberry Computing)
We’ve been designing and implementing the SPARC program since 2007. We use solar-powered, Raspberry Pi computers and offline digital educational materials (no internet required). Thanks to the innovative Raspberry Pi’s energy efficiency, affordability, and open-source philosophy, it is the ideal vehicle for addressing Powering Potential’s sustainability goal.
For the SPARC program, we install:
- Five Raspberry Pi computers
- Three servers (loaded with educational content)
- Computer network equipment
- Two 85-watt panels, three 108Ah batteries
- A 15 amp charge controller
- A 350 watt inverter
- A lightning arrester system
- RACHEL digital library from World Possible
- Office productivity software
- Shule Direct Tanzanian secondary school curriculum (in Tanzania)
- Kolibri learning platform from Learning Equality (in Peru)
- Scratch coding program
The SPARC program includes a Pi-oneer and a three week Training Workshop.
Our SPARC+ program upgrades the SPARC lab by expanding the solar energy system and installing 15 more Raspberry Pi computers for a total of 20 computers.
This upgrade enables the schools to offer the national Information and Computer Studies (ICS) curriculum.
The Pi-oneer is an affordable and innovative teaching tool that combines a single Raspberry Pi computer loaded with digital content, a hand-held projector and projection screen. With the solar-powered Pi-oneer, teachers can utilize educational videos and other audiovisual teaching aides. The Pi-oneer is an ideal way to bring educational resources to schools without the expense of a computer lab.
Powering Potential conducted its first training in 2007 with one laptop. Since then we have held 42 workshops at 32 schools across Tanzania and one school in Peru.
Each SPARC implementation includes a customized three-week Train-the Trainer course. These classes include the basics of networking, hardware, file management, RACHEL research, office productivity software (word processing, spreadsheets, database, presentation) and in Tanzania, the digitized secondary school curriculum, and in Peru, the Kolibri learning platform.
Periodically we bring students and teachers together from multiple schools to participate in advanced workshops including coding (Scratch), and to collaborate and share ideas.
In 2007, students at Banjika, our first school, had not even seen a computer so Janice started at the very beginning. What is a computer? What can it do? How do you make it work? In a school assembly, the student body president expressed their appreciation: “We saw computer in Magazine, TV, Newspaper but you are the one who showed us what is computer. We enjoyed all the program you taught us and the data which you recorded. Its real appreciation.” – Tumaini Rweymamu
Powering Potential has installed 57 solar-powered computer projects and conducted 46 training workshops, with more to come.
Support Our Efforts
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever for students in developing countries to have access to information and communication technology to protect their communities and improve their lives. Will you join us?