During the Pandemic, we have had a quiet social media presence, but that is not to say that we have not been busy.
Early in the pandemic, I was so proud of my students who used their 3D printing and Design abilities to optimize the 3D printed masks that were popularized. Their design uses 30% less plastic and prints faster.
They also created hooks to allow people to maintain a layer of distance from opening the doors in grocery stores when they get milk. I will write update posts re these activities a bit later.
On the light side of things, Josh from Brilliant Labs coached Physics students on how to use Eagle with the mindset of adapting our Masitek Solar Circuit (Blue and Yellow) with test points. Rather than us making the lights and sending them to our friends living in light poverty, perhaps the circuit board could also be used as a mini-lab to discover electrical engineering concepts.
We used the Voltera machine to make our first prototypes. Over time, as we trouble-shot, the solder would build up, but we think we are confident to order our professional boards.
Innovative Labs Schools Charging Units:
Our friend Koen Timmers opened on of his Innovative Labs Schools that he built with Jane Goodall. This one is at Kakuma Refugee Camp. They have teachers willing to teach, a few laptops and some individual devices. However, they do not have a good way to charge their 5V devices.
Fortunately, Jeff from Sussex Regional High School (who we met at L’Abbey MakerFaire sponsored by Brilliant Labs), reached out to talk about teaching in the pandemic. We decided to collaborate on this Innovative Labs School Solar charging issue. Again, Josh from Brilliant Labs is joining as both schools meet every Wed at lunch, virtually of course. Some students are F2F and others join from home.
Today, we are meeting with Jeff from Voltaic Systems to talk details. They offer commercial versions of what we are suggesting and we are hoping that they will give us some insight.
Thanks to the generosity of DesJardin Insurance, we received a $3k grant. They award grants for programs that help keep kids in school. Both prior and during the pandemic, Current Generation has motivated students to work both at home and at school . It seems to allow students to take back some control that they have lost during the pandemic. All of this not to mention our friends living in light poverty who are now able to continue their studies. This grant will be spend buying batteries and solar panels. We expect to have about 200 lights available to be sent by the end of the school year. We are in desperate need for batteries, battery holders and solar panels! This grant will go a long way, but we are not there yet.