In 2016 I visited a school in Port au Prince, and I saw how much Haiti is in need of alternative energy. So I came up with an idea to connect my school in Murphy, NC with the students in Haiti while we design and install solar USB device charging stations at each school.
I will lead a group of students at my project-based high school to design and install a solar charging station. It will be located at an outside pavilion and used to charge devices during lunch. We live in a small rural town with a lot of economic disadvantage (about 40% of students) but not a lot of diversity (about 10% minority). Designing a solar station will help students acquire skills in an alternative energy field, and Phase 2 of the project (the Haiti installation) will encourage solidarity with students from another culture and increase our ability to think globally. Community experts (a solar company owner; a licensed electrician) and a physics teacher will mentor to ensure the project’s success.
In the fall of 2017, I’ll travel to Haiti to help students there install a station based on the NC prototype with components from a Haitian solar company. Having a solar charging station at the school will be invaluable, as electricity is unreliable. Learning about solar and helping to install/maintain their own station will empower students to consider other things they might do to improve their school and/or lives.
Throughout the project, community-building between the schools will take place. The NC students have already sent down a scrapbook of letters, and this exchange will continue through email, photos, letters, and videos. This project will help us understand that we are more alike than we think, that young people have the power to make change in the world, and that we can reach across borders to make the world a better place. This goal is more important than ever in these divisive times.
I have support letters from the schools involved and a solar company upon request.
Funded by Asheville, NC (March 2017)