Project sparks interest in solar energy
A group of Enner Glynn School pupils have used their renewable energy learnings to make life a little brighter for kids in Vanuatu.
Eva Cranefield has been teaching her extension class of Year 4 to 6 pupilsabout renewable and non-renewable energy sources through the SolarBuddy programme.
‘‘We selected these children for their passion or empathy for helping others or their interest in science or leadership,’’ she said.
‘‘My job is to kind of extend kids in some way and usually I’ll look for an interest level – in this case I just heard about the project and thought our kids would love this.’’
SolarBuddy is an Australianregistered charity whose mission is to provide safe and effective solar energy to communities who suffer from the limiting effects of energy poverty.
As part of its Buddy2Buddy schools programme, the Enner Glynn pupils were given the opportunity to build a SolarBuddy light before sending that light to a child in need, along with a personal letter, in the village of Lenakel on Tanna Island.
Cranefield said the lights, which provided one hour of illumination for every hour of solar energy charged, would make life easier, not to mention safer, in that part of the Pacific.
‘‘They have no electricity at all, so the idea is that once dark comes they can still read and carry on learning.’’
‘‘We try as much as we can to include some kind of social outcome - I’d like to think it could be an ongoing thing, because it’s just meaningful learning for them.’’
Sponsorship to purchase the lights was secured through Enner Glynn’s Friends of the School (FOS) group and local firm Glen Roberts Electrical
Josh Roberts of Glen Roberts Electrical was on hand to help put the lights together last week and took questions from the children about solar energy and electronics.
Once enlightened, the pupils were allocated their light kit to construct in pairs.
It was hoped that the lights would be sent over to Vanuatu in July.
Roberts said the impetus for his company’s involvement was to further people’s involvement in solar energy, which he said was ‘‘a huge part of our future industry.’’
‘‘Any technology improvement we can help with so that children are coming through with that knowledge already would be huge, because we are all going to be using it sooner rather than later,’’ he said.
Josh Roberts helps out Miguel, left, and Scarlett at Enner Glynn School for the Solar Buddy project, which helps Pacific Island villages without power by providing small solar powered lights.