WEST ORANGE, NJ - West Orange High School students in Katie Gardner’s Engineering and Design Solutions class had the opportunity to show off their skills last month as they instructed administrators, board of education and community members how to construct solar circuits.

In 2016, students first constructed the circuitry as part of the curriculum written by Technology and Engineering Supervisor Ryan DelGuercio. They also improved on the “Liter of Light” streetlamp by adding two additional solar panels.

From there, the students have worked to improve upon their original designs and experiment with different ideas to create “Solar Lanterns."

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Three teams presented their lanterns and described their processes for their designs.

Superintendent Jeff Rutzky, board of education members Laura Lab and Mark Robertson, former Superintendent Jerry Tarnoff, township councilwoman and Environmental Commissioner Susan McCartney and daughter, Hannah, Ranger Theresa Jung from Thomas Edison National Historical Park, and West Orange Chamber of Commerce President Gail Kuchavik then worked with student to construct “bread boards,” which are integral to the design of the lamps.

Students will continue to improve on their designs and it is hoped that they will be able to provide solar lighting in and around the high school.

The community is invited to attend the annual “Earth Hour” event at Thomas Edison National Historical Park on March 15 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., where high school students will display their lamps and students from middle school environmental clubs will help to educate the public on important issues. Other speakers will be on hand to provide the community with updates on local and national environmental issues.

The event is sponsored by the West Orange Environmental Commission and Thomas Edison National Historical Park.