Changing the World with Global Collaboration – The Student Perspective

This blog post was written by Kylie, a 7th-grade student at Preston Middle School. Kylie is a participant in the global Engineering Brightness project, an ongoing project that is helping to change the lives of those living without electricity. 

Middle Schoolers are Changing the World

Engineering Brightness is an amazing club that utilizes student talents to help solve a world problem: light poverty. The fact that middle schoolers are doing something as big as this to impact the world makes me want to help out more than the hour after school we have once a week. All the build days we’ve had over the course of this summer have made me very excited, especially since we get to spread the word about what we do at these events.

Seeing everyone in the community, not just students and teachers, work toward one goal for a few hours really makes me happy, because it shows me that even though not all these people exactly know how to solder or engineer, they still want to contribute to the cause and learn more. Having a connection to Liberia through Mr. Waldo is amazing, especially since he comes up with great ways to try and make us more productive in what we do. It is also really encouraging that we have all this support from teachers like Mrs. Winey and Mr. Howe, and also from our community, such as parents and friends.

A year ago, we had a build day at Preston, and SMART electrical engineers came to talk to us about some possible improvements to our lantern design. We received a lot of good feedback and things to consider, and some of those components are in our lantern design 2.0, such as lights on both sides of the circuit board. We also had a Skype conference with the engineers later in the year, and we reviewed what we discussed on the build day, and what components we should change on our circuit board so that they could design a prototype. The prototype was shown to us a few days ago, and the engineers made it to order perfectly.

I am super thankful that I joined Engineering Brightness because I have been able to collaborate with people around the world, gain a new perspective of the world, and discover new passions I never knew about. Who knew that I would like soldering so much? My family loves that I have these kinds of opportunities they never did, and are excited that I am learning so many new things that I love.

Learn more about the Engineering Brightness project here, and the SMART software that helped to make it possible here

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