Engineering Is Saving the World With Cookstoves


Engineering Is Saving the World with Cookstoves tells the story of the need for a new design for cookstoves in Darfur and how researchers have worked to make that happen. Videos, animations and interactive graphics explain the design process, and provide a deep dive into science concepts, like combustion. The book also contains a career spotlight video of an engineer that is working on the new stoves, and video profiles of others helping with the project. Students across the country can engage in discussion with each other about indoor air pollution in the developing world via Twitter through an embedded social media project. There is also an opportunity for students to interview engineers in their own communities, and create and share media pieces based on those interviews.

  • Engineering Is Saving the World with Cookstoves: E-book | QUEST

    The new e-book Engineering Is Saving the World with Cookstoves tells the story of the need for a new design for cookstoves in Darfur and how researchers have worked to make that happen. Videos, animations, and interactive graphics explain the design process and provide a deep dive into scientific concepts such as combustion. The book also contains a video of an engineer who is working on the new stoves, plus video profiles of others helping with the project. Additionally, students across the U.S. can engage in discussion with each other about indoor air pollution in the developing world via an embedded social-media project on Twitter, and there is an opportunity for students to interview engineers in their own communities and create and share media pieces based on those interviews.

    Find our other e-books at kqed.org/ebooks.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Engineering Is Saving the World with Cookstoves: Video | QUEST

    How can engineering keep people from harm? Women in Darfur, a conflict-riddled area in Sudan, have been making dangerous trips to procure wood to use as fuel for cooking. As they leave the refugee camps, their safety cannot be guaranteed. Here's where researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory come in. They designed a stove that makes cooking more efficient, reducing the number of trips the women would have to take. They're working on making the stoves pollute less so that women do not have to suffer through the diseases associated with breathing the smoke from the fuel. 

    Grades: 6-12
  • Career Spotlight: Research Scientist and Mechanical Engineer | QUEST

    Can energy-efficient cookstoves save lives? Learn how mechanical engineer Vi Rapp helps prevent lung cancer, stroke, and heart disease by designing wood-burning cookstoves for communities around the world. Rapp's clean, efficient cookstoves produce 90% fewer harmful emissions than the biomass stoves used by over half of the world's popularion. Although Rapp grew up with dreams of becoming a rocket engineer, she studied mechanical engineering because of her passion for problem-solving and her desire to improve living conditions on Earth.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Meet Genevieve Smith | QUEST

    Learn how Genevieve Smith, a student in Berkeley’s Masters of Development Practice program, is working with engineers to provide efficient stoves for communities in the developing world. This video clip is part of the e-book Engineering is Saving the World with Cookstoves. Access e-book.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Meet Julian Caubel | QUEST

    Learn how Julien Caubel is designing an efficient wood-burning cookstove for the developing world. This video clip is part of the e-book Engineering is Saving the World with Cookstoves. Access e-book.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Meet Kathleen Lask | QUEST

    Kathleen Lask is a Ph.D. student in the Applied Science and Technology program at UC Berkeley. Learn how she got involved with designing a stove to help refugees in Darfur and how that inspired her to pursue her current career path. This video clip is part of the e-book Engineering is Saving the World with Cookstoves. Access e-book.

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Combustion of Wood

    What happens when wood burns? Learn about the chemistry of combustion, as well as the different types of combustion, including the types that are harmful to human health. 

    The new e-book, Engineering is Saving the World with Cookstoves, tells the story of the need for a new design for cookstoves in Darfur and how researchers have worked to make that happen. Videos, animations, and interactive graphics explain the design process, and provide a deep dive into science concepts, like combustion. This video is part of the e-book.

    Grades: 6-12

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