Students Shine Light for Others

Year 9 science students at St Mary’s College have been busy constructing solar lights as part of the SolarBuddy initiative. They are donating 25 solar lights to help 1.4 billion students who do not have access to modern electricity. SolarBuddy is a registered Australian charity dedicated to educating and empowering the next generation of children living in energy poverty.

St Mary’s College P & F purchased the solar lights for the Year 9 students. President Mr James Redmond said “when the P & F were approached to support this initiative, we believed it was a great program for our students to participate in. Not only is it relevant to the content that the students are studying they are learning about social justice and how they can assist students less fortunate than themselves”.

Students had to learn about electricity, how to construct circuits and how solar power works. They also had to research information about the SolarBuddy program and why the charity is trying to change the lives of so many children.

Learning Leader- Science, Mathematics and PE at St Mary’s College, Mrs Krissy Lourigan said “The SolarBuddy program helps children living in energy poverty study 38% longer than those who do not have access to the solar lights. The students really enjoyed putting the solar lights together knowing they are helping other children around the world with their education”.

“I feel good about helping others who don’t have access to electricity 24/7 like we do in Australia” said Year 9 student Chelsea Mugford. 

“We learnt that not only can the students' study longer, but it is also helping with their health as they don’t have to rely on kerosene lamps at night. That can only be a good thing” said Rose Elmer.

As part of the program, the students had to write a letter to their SolarBuddy, introducing themselves, explaining how the solar light works and how it will benefit their education. “Hopefully we will get a letter back from our SolarBuddy, telling us about themselves. We may even be able to write to each other regularly” explained Rex Peers.

For information about the SolarBuddy program visit their website. https://solarbuddy.org/​​