Program Linking Practical Engineering Skills with Global Humanitarian Service
We Share Solar empowers students to be global changemakers. By combining solar energy and engineering education with real-world applicability, trained teachers cultivate students’ interests in STEM subjects and inspire them to meet an immediate need in the developing world. Middle school, high school, and college teachers learn to teach the organization’s extensive curriculum during two-day workshops. These trained teachers then lead their students in building a standalone solar system called the We Share Solar Suitcase. As students build, they learn about global-energy poverty, basic electricity, solar energy, and engineering. Students donate one of their classroom’s We Share Solar Suitcases to a school or community center in an energy-poor region of the world. Classrooms reuse the remaining systems for ongoing education. We Share Solar works with partners in target countries to select placement sites, conduct installations, and educate users of the Solar Suitcase. These global partners share placement stories and photos with the student builders so students can see the full impact of their work. We Share Solar is funded by corporations and foundations who value community engagement.
InqITS (Inquiry Intelligent Tutoring System) is an online environment founded by university researchers for life, earth, and physical sciences. The design behind InqITS provides resources for teacher instruction and assessment, and for student education on critical science and learning skills.
Inspiration is a mysterious thing. Who knows when or where it will strike. We’re fascinated by the catalysts for inspiration and how a simple “lightbulb” moment can lead to world-changing innovation. In this Bio-Inspiration YouTube series, the Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST) looks at how inspiration can be found in the plants, animals, and phenomena all around us.