NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — For two years, city high school students have worked to raise money for the students of an elementary school in the South American nation of Peru.
The New Brunswick Health Sciences Technology High School students didn’t send books, pencils or laptops. Rather, their gift was among the most basic needs of a modern school: electricity.
Next month, students plan to send a We Share Solar suitcase to the Peruvian school, according to New Brunswick district officials. The device—a suitcase featuring “high-efficiency LED lighting,” a cellphone charger and power outlets—will bring electricity to a place where it’s scarce, they said.
“We’re so proud of our students and staff for taking the initiative with a service project that reaches out far beyond New Brunswick’s borders,” the school’s principal, Deborah Alexander, said in a statement. “They worked hard in assembling, testing, decorating and then signing off on the We Share Solar suitcase, all to help improve educational opportunities for students who live more than 3,000 miles away.”
Part of the mission of the nonprofit group We Care Solar is to push children to build the devices and consequently learn about science, technology, engineering and math, according to the school district.
Schools then send the devices to educational institutions, libraries, orphanages and disaster-relief camps around the world, fusing science and service, according to the district.
Indeed, photographs show New Brunswick students displaying their mechanical knowhow while testing the suitcase—and also their efforts to raise money for their peers in Peru.
Denise Spina, a history teacher at New Brunswick Health Sciences Technology High School, led the We Share Solar project.
The device can be upgraded so as to provide 200 watts of solar power and 200 amp-hours of battery energy storage, according to the school district.