DIY Girls Designed Solar-Powered Tents for Homeless People in California

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The team of 12 women from San Fernando High School, California have developed solar-powered tents for protection of homeless people in the state

Nonprofit organization called DIY Girls are involved in educating young women from low-income communities. They teach various subjects such as engineering, math and science. The team took initiative to help homeless people with the help of high school project. Increasing population of homeless people in hometown of San Fernando motivated the woman to take up this challenge. The homeless population in San Fernando has surpassed by 36 percent from 2016 and currently, over 7,000 people are living on the streets of the Los Angeles suburb. “We come from low-income families ourselves, we can’t give them money,” said team member Daniela Orozco.

The team was awarded US$10,000 as a fund from the Lemelson-MIT Program to build the tent. They leaned to use 3D printer for coding, joining, and stitching to develop the prototype. Initially, two designs were developed, one of which was destroyed in resting. The final model will be presented by team members at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at young inventor conference.

But aside from its potential to help the homeless, the tent has also opened new doors of possibility for the young engineers. “You’re learning new things you’ve never even heard of or even thought of,” said Chelly Chavez, who learned the C++ programming language to improve the tent. “Only two junior girls in our AP calculus class, which has way more guys than girls. But we’re going to change that.” She added.


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