12 high school girls have come together to solve one of the biggest real-world problem in America: homelessness. This is what inspired them to build tens that are powered by readily available solar energy.
“Our community, the San Fernando Valley saw a 36 percent increase in homelessness in 2016, to 7,100 residents,” the girls explained. Their team is composed of junior and senior high school students from San Fernando High School. They also happen to be one of the recipients of the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Grant. It is a program sponsored by the School of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Here, students work in 15 InvenTeams in order to come with an invention that would solve a real-world problem by applying basic engineering principles.
For these girls, they used their $10,000 team grant funding to develop a one of a kind shelter for the homeless community. They all come from low-income families so they have witnessed how homelessness affects families firsthand. It is their home that with their solar powered shelter, many families can lead better lives. Not to mention, they also hope the shelter they have developed can serve refugees. The girls come from immigrant families themselves so the cause is near and dear to their hearts.
Meanwhile, the girls’ teacher, Violet Madirosian, was impressed with the team’s dedication to see the project through. “I thought at the beginning that maybe some of them would give up, say ‘I didn’t anticipate this much work,’ but they’re not. They’re just working hard and they’re not giving up and they’re super excited,” she told Huffington Post.
The girls could use some help in getting to MIT for the showcase event.
The MIT sponsored program will culminate in an upcoming event known as EurekaFest in June. Here, students get to showcase their projects at MIT. The problem, however, is that the girls currently don’t have enough money for the trip. A GoFundMe page has been set up in order to help pay for their lodging and travel expenses.
The girls are hoping that with a little help, they can all make it to MIT to showcase an invention that would change lives for the better in low-income communities.
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