Program Linking Practical Engineering Skills with Global Humanitarian Service
We Share Solar empowers students to be global changemakers. By combining solar energy and engineering education with real-world applicability, trained teachers cultivate students’ interests in STEM subjects and inspire them to meet an immediate need in the developing world. Middle school, high school, and college teachers learn to teach the organization’s extensive curriculum during two-day workshops. These trained teachers then lead their students in building a standalone solar system called the We Share Solar Suitcase. As students build, they learn about global-energy poverty, basic electricity, solar energy, and engineering. Students donate one of their classroom’s We Share Solar Suitcases to a school or community center in an energy-poor region of the world. Classrooms reuse the remaining systems for ongoing education. We Share Solar works with partners in target countries to select placement sites, conduct installations, and educate users of the Solar Suitcase. These global partners share placement stories and photos with the student builders so students can see the full impact of their work. We Share Solar is funded by corporations and foundations who value community engagement.
The science-oriented National Children’s Museum in Washington, DC, has started STEAM Daydream, a monthly podcast in which curious children interview STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) innovators from across the country for answers to their burning questions.
The National Inventors Hall of Fame has transformed its summer STEM camp, Camp Invention, into a new at-home program called Camp Invention Connect. The program balances active, independent hands-on exploration with opportunities for socialization from home.