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Twin Cities students build solar devices for Kenyan students on STEM Day

Updated: November 08, 2019 06:02 PM

On Friday, Twin Cities students came together to work on a high-tech project that will soon help people a world away.

It's all part of STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) Day.

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Students from 11 Twin Cities-area schools participated in the hands-on STEM program, which involved building portable solar suitcases that can capture the sun's energy and bring electricity to thousands of students at schools in a refugee camp in northwest Kenya.

The students worked on the devices at Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis and tested them to make sure they are correctly turning light energy into electricity.

Officials said the suitcases are powerful enough to illuminate two to three classrooms and charge devices such as mobile phones or tablets.

The students who took part said they know their work will help students in Africa who right now rely on kerosene lamps.

"With this device, compared to the kerosene lamps, this can light up as much as 10 kerosene lamps, which is great for the people in dire need of this device for light for their learning," said Fue Vang, a student.

The event is part of the national "We Share Solar" program. The group includes students from the School of Environmental Studies in Apple Valley and Girls Inc. at the YWCA in Minneapolis.

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