“Many of us have been bestowed the project of a pen pal in school. Teachers assign these projects in hopes of children being able to get a glimpse of another child’s life and culture, opening their mind to how other kids around the world live. Hannah Herbst, a 15-year old teenager in Florida, did not take this project lightly but used her pen pal’s story to inspire a pretty impressive invention for harnessing energy from ocean currents.
“I found out that she’s living in energy poverty, and she doesn’t have access to things that I take for granted every day,” Herbst explains the motivation from her 9- year old pen pal in Ethiopia. “Then I was boating with my family through the Boca Raton Inlet, and our boat was really jerked around by the current. I thought, why not use this power?””