Many hands make lights work

Holy Family School, Indooroopilly

Students Amilia Thomas, Lucy Scott and Olive McGregor with STEM teacher Anne Green and SolarBuddy Education Program Manager Billy Murphy are sending solar lights to children in PNG

STUDENTS at Holy Family School, Indooroopilly, are on a mission to light up the world for children without access to modern, safe and reliable electricity.

The school partnered with SolarBuddy during STEM week to buy components and build a small solar buddy light to send to students in Papua New Guinea.

Teachers, parents, politicians and Origin Energy volunteers, who donated a number of the lights, which cost $30 each, were on hand to help them.

The excitement began early for students when keynote speaker Zoologist and STEM multi-award winner Jordan Debono inspired them with her love of science and venomous creatures.

She reminded everyone to pursue what they enjoyed and to stay curious about their world.

Next up was SolarBuddy’s Education Program Manager, Billie Murphy, who explained the Australian charity was dedicated to educating and empowering the next generation to change the lives of children in the developing world.

Ms Murphy said the Buddy2Buddy Schools Program was designed to teach students about the positive impact of renewable energy on communities living in energy poverty.<

She said it also helped to connect students in the developed world to students in the developing world.

“It’s a tangible program,” she said.

“The students actually get to build the lights.

“They learn about the different components.”

Ms Murphy said the students also wrote a letter to the beneficiary who could then identify who sent it to them.

“Sending that light to a child in need, along with a personal letter, can make a huge difference to their life,” she said.

Student Olive McGregor said it was amazing to find out how children in different countries lived.

“I didn’t realise that sometimes they did not have lights to read books at night,” she said.

“I wrote in my letter that I hoped the person who got my solar light enjoyed using it to read at night.”

Olive said she had lots of fun designing the light and writing her letter and hoped the person who received it would write back.

STEM teacher Anne Green, who organised the Solarbuddy partnership, said the school was excited to be involved in the incredible program.

She said difference the solar lights would make to children with far less or no electricity would be remarkable. 

“These solar lights will make a huge difference to the educational outcomes of the children who receive them,” she said.

Principal John Robertson said the school community hoped to continue the initiative well into the future.

The Buddy2Buddy Schools Program launch kicked of four days off interesting and exciting activities during the school’s STEM Week Fair.

It included an exciting line-up of industry professionals running workshops and events that inspired and ignited the minds of the young students and leaders of the future.

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