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Sharing Light Overseas: Richfield’s Climate Crisis Class

Sharing Light Overseas: Richfield’s Climate Crisis Class

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.

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Emily Robles

“She is such an independent, focused student,” said Social Worker Jill Carlton. “She has done so much and made such an impact on Richfield High School with all of her hard work!” 

Emily Robles

“Mari's enthusiastic and inclusive personality is heartwarming and energizing,” said Counselor Jessica Okey. “She brings light and positivity to all she does.”

Emily Robles

“Melvin is a one of a kind student,” said Physical Education Teacher Tracie Hofmann. “He sets his goals and does anything and everything in his power to achieve them. This guy is going places! I can't wait to see his clothing line in the near future!"

Emily Robles

“Emily is an incredible student who works hard to achieve greatness,” said teacher Erin Huber. “She challenges herself and never discredits her own worth. She looks at all difficult situations with a growth lens and finds creative ways to reach her goals. Emily has strong intrinsic motivation and excellent time management to balance all of the commitments in her life."

Two singers in Urinetown

Students who participated in our production of Urinetown received multiple honors and high rankings from the Hennepin Theater Trust. All of these students will have a chance to participate in the Spotlight Showcase at the State Theater in Minneapolis on Tuesday, June 13.

A teacher at Centennial is interviewed for the evening news.

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