Self-taught Sierra Leonean teen visits MIT

Meet Kelvin Doe. A 15-year-old with no formal engineering training, Doe has built batteries and generators using trashed scrap metal and wiring. In his native Sierra Leone, he doubles as DJ Focus, where he broadcasts news and music via an RF transmitter he created.

Doe visited MIT as part of the International Development Initiative’s Visiting Practitioners Program, which allows outside innovators to collaborate with Institute faculty and researchers.

This video, produced by THNKR, chronicles Doe’s journey at MIT. Mark Feldmeier ’96, SM ’03, PhD ’09, a research affiliate at the Media Lab, collaborated with Doe and is featured in the video.

Doe’s visit was arranged by Sierra Leone native and doctoral student David Sengeh SM ’12, who initially met Doe through the non-profit Innovate Salone. His U.S. travels included a trip to New York, where he spoke at the 2012 Maker Faire, and a visit with Harvard President Drew Faust.

(Description by Jay London at