Can you imagine a more complete project?
Young women, scientists, “Latinas”, solar energy and with the purpose of helping the homeless people of San Fernando in California.
In this district, poverty has skyrocketed and the number of homeless has multiplied to more than 36% this year. From the team of inventors, Daniela Orozco recognizes that she always saw people when she went to school but didn’t know how to help them.
They come from humble families with little income and they used their talent to do more than just give financial help. They undertook a technical project.
Their invention is a tent that works with solar energy that folds in a roller bag. It is very light and easy to transport and, as is logical, it is self-sufficient, allowing to improve the quality of life of people in need.
After a year of study they presented their project to MIT at a conference of young inventors and managed to enter the Lemelson-MIT Program with a grant of $ 10,000 that allowed them to advance their research and get down to work coding, welding, sewing and 3D printing, a real challenge for this team.
They were recruited by the organization DIY Girls, an NGO that trains girls from low-income communities in the fields of science, mathematics and engineering.
The work of this NGO puts the focus on this researcher profile because less than 30% of engineers are women and of these only 6% are Hispanic. A very low figures even being in California and that shows that access to knowledge is always linked to cultural standards and economic wealth.
For now it’s only a prototype, but they hope that at some point they can be produced in mass and reach the greatest number of people in need.
It is true that it really is not the solution to the problem of the lack of income of the communities of the outskirts of Los Angeles, but it is certainly a patch with a great social value, a patch with the technique that they had to learn at the time of to work with these canvases and materials, but which in itself builds the promising future for young girls and Hispanic DIY Girls to continue with new projects when they are more adult.
Technology and social change will always go hand in hand.