Homelessness is a serious problem in the Los Angeles, California area, but a team of all girl high school students at San Fernando High School decided to come up with their own solution.
Despite having virtually no engineering experience, they managed to invent a solar-powered tent that rolls up into a backpack.
The girls utilized insulated fabric and solar panels for their tent design, which also includes a safety locking system and a UV system to help sanitize it. Among the tasks that went into completing the solar tent were coding, electrical wiring, and sewing. They were assisted by Google searches and YouTube videos.
They were recruited by DIY Girls, a non-profit organization that empowers teenage girls from low-income families in Los Angeles to pursue the fields of technology and engineering. Evelyn Gomez, executive director of DIY Girls, oversaw the project and helped where she could, but it was solely undertaken by the 12-girl team from inception to completion.
Their dedication and hard work paid off, as they won a $10,000 grant from the Lemelson-MIT program, and presented their invention at MIT’s EurekaFest on June 16th. Coming from low-income families themselves, the girls almost didn’t make the trip, but thanks to a GoFundMe campaign that brought in more than $18,000, they managed to do it.