At a workshop on Saturday, April 14, Sacramento County area educators learned how to build solar cases that can generate life-saving energy for medical wards in developing countries. The workshop and suitcases were sponsored by State Farm Insurance and the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE).
Representatives from the Mutana Women of Liberia accepted the suitcases on behalf of the African women whose lives will be saved by the distribution of these portable generators.
"In regions where power is intermittent at best, these solar cases bring light and hope to people in third world nations where these resources are needed most," said Eric Johnson, coordinator of the Green Energy and Technology Academy at Laguna Creek High School.
The goal of the workshop was to expand the construction of the small cases as a green energy educational tool and a much needed medical resource in developing countries. Included in the workshop attendees was a team from Sierra Leone.
The solar cases plug into solar cells to offer immediate power to charge a 12-volt battery that can offer power when needed. The solar cases can be used as charging stations for communication radios and as electrical outlets for lights or medical equipment.
"This project has been an inspiring and phenomenal combination of science, engineering, and technology," said Tim Taylor, SCOE Assistant Superintendent for Career Technical Education. "The students involved here should know they are part of a great humanitarian effort."
The workshop was part of the green academy programs at Laguna Creek and Cosumnes Oaks high schools. Since 2010, the two programs have sent 50 solar cases to more than 14 countries including Uganda, Nigeria, Haiti, Thailand, India, Mexico, and Rwanda. Cosumnes Oaks was the first to start the project in the 2008–09 school year.