When you turn on your stovetop, do you ever wonder how efficient it is at heating your pot and the food inside? While that may not be top of mind for you, the efficiency of cookstoves has a huge impact on the quality of life–from safety issues to health impacts–of many people around the world. Engineers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have been working for more than a decade to build a better cookstove.
This story of designing a new stove for families in developing countries is the first in KQED’s new Engineering Is… series of e-books that focus on the intersection of engineering and science. 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.