In case you weren’t feeling lazy enough post-Thanksgiving…

…there’s always Kelvin Doe to make you feel more like a lump of reheated mashed potatoes.

Doe is 15 years old, but he was only 13 when he started building his own electronics from discarded telephones, tape decks and other gadgets found in the rubbish bin – with basically no training.

Not only is this youngster a wunderkind with wires and circuits, all of his inventions have a purpose beyond himself. Doe built batteries and generators to power houses in his home town, since electricity is patchy at best in his corner of Sierra Leone. He also crafted a radio transmitter to broadcast his own station under the alias DJ Focus. Doe says there are no radio stations in Sierra Leone that welcome open debate, so that’s what he aims to provide people looking to discuss important issues. And he’s not done yet; his next project is a wind-powered generator to pump out cheap energy for his neighbors.

It’s no wonder that Doe was invited to visit MIT as the youngest person ever asked to participate in the Visiting Practitioners Program. Over a three-week stay he was given access to the best tools, equipment and mentoring the U.S. has to offer. And amidst all that attention, the humble kid still missed his mother’s home cooking.

It’s hard to know which is more remarkable: Doe’s jaw-dropping smarts or tireless dedication to helping others. Something to think about halfway through your leftover pumpkin pie.


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