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Co-designed with displaced kids, Ambessa Play's DIY flashlight kit ignites STEM learning

Ambessa Play, a social enterprise dedicated to educating children in STEM subjects by sparking creativity and curiosity, has launched its debut kit: a battery-free, DIY flashlight powered by a dynamo and capacitor system. Designed in collaboration with renowned creative agency Pentagram, this compact flashlight offers a hands-on learning experience centered around kinetic energy and electronic components, featuring ten parts and 16 build steps.

Why a flashlight? When Ambessa Play founder Sara Berkai was working with children in Eritrea, they requested a practical and useful toy kit in response to unreliable electricity. By partnering with organizations such as the Refugee Council, Care for Calais, Project Play and Terre des Hommes, Ambessa Play engaged displaced children in the design process. UK children also provided input, with one workshop participant suggesting the inclusion of animal figures on the packaging for use in shadow play.

Built on a one-for-one business model, Ambessa Play is now inviting backers on Kickstarter and will donate a free kit to a displaced child for each pledged purchase at the prelaunch price of GBP 35.

Trend Bite

An astounding 65% of today's primary school children are predicted to pursue careers in fields that do not yet exist, with a strong emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math knowledge. However, many children, particularly displaced ones, face limited access to STEM education, stifling their potential for innovation and creative problem-solving.

Ambessa Play's story serves as a reminder that all children possess untapped ideas and inventiveness, capable of creating new technologies rather than merely consuming them. Fostering that inherent ingenuity will help cultivate a generation equipped to tackle the challenges and opportunities presented by rapidly evolving industries.