Richfield High School students in the yearlong Climate Crisis class are making a difference across the world — for the fourth year in a row! This semester, students finished putting together their “solar suitcase,” which was sent to Kenya last week to provide light to students at schools with no access to electricity.
This program, in partnership with We Share Solar and sponsored by Wells Fargo, was brought to Richfield in 2019. Since then, students in Matt Brown’s Climate Crisis class have sent five suitcases overseas, along with a picture of the class, well-wishes and instructions on how to use it. A team of volunteers in Kenya receive the solar suitcases and install them, as well as train the local school staff how to use them. The whole process ensures that students can learn after the sun goes down.
Providing light to classrooms in Kenya isn’t the project’s only benefit. Students in Climate Crisis also have the opportunity to learn about basic electricity, climate change and electrical engineering. Once the suitcase has been installed in its location overseas, We Share Solar captures the story of every suitcase and brings it back to student builders. “This small step changes lives,” We Share Solar explains on their website. “When students see their work valued, needed and celebrated they begin to see themselves that way – and the next generation of global changemakers is born.”
The Sun Current wrote about the first solar suitcases sent to Africa in 2019. You can read more about the program here.