Students Work with Liter of Light and Enel Green Power North America on Project
ANDOVER — GLTS students really know how to light up a room.
On Tuesday, Dec. 12, approximately 80 students from GLTS’ electrical and engineering shops created more than 100 circuit boards that will be used to power solar lanterns in countries with limited to no access to electricity.
The project is part of a global movement spearheaded by Liter of Light — an organization that works to teach communities how to use recycled plastic bottles and locally sourced materials to illuminate their homes, businesses and streets — to promote and increase sustainable practices.
As part of Liter of Light’s final leg in its “Journey of Light” across the U.S., members of the team, including founder Illac Diaz, visited GLTS — their only stop in Massachusetts — to educate students, teachers and staff about the power of sustainable energy. The visit was made possible in part by leading Massachusetts-based renewable energy company Enel Green Power North America, Inc., which is a sponsor of Liter of Light’s project.
“We are thrilled to be able to partner with Greater Lawrence Technical School and Liter of Light to help tackle one of the world’s greatest challenges, energy poverty,” said Marcus Krembs, Head of Sustainability for Enel Green Power North America, Inc., which is headquartered in Andover. “Through this partnership we are engaging students through hands-on learning focused on STEAM based learning, while also creating new ambassadors of light who can carry the message and the mission forward.”
During two 60-90 minute sessions — one at 8:30 a.m. and another at 12 p.m. — engineering and electrical students came together to learn about solar energy and how something as small as 1 watt of power can provide a person with 13 hours of light through a solar-charged battery.
The Liter of Light team has traveled the globe teaching marginalized countries how to create this technology using locally sourced material. And on top of illuminating the GLTS community about sustainable energy, Liter of Light staff worked with students to construct circuits for solarized lanterns, which will then be sent to countries like Mexico and the Dominican Republic for use.
GLTS sophomore Caroline Anziani, of Lawrence, from the electrical shop, worked on soldering circuits that will connect batteries to the solar lights. Anziani said she was glad she could create something that will benefit others.
“I think what we did is important because not everyone is as fortunate as we are in the U.S. and it’s a great feeling to be able to lend a helping hand on this project,” she added.
GLTS junior, Adoni Jimenez, of Lawrence, from the engineering shop, echoed Anziani’s sentiments and stated that he was happy to contribute to Liter of Light’s journey and learn about sustainability.
Liter of Light’s work will culminate on May 16, the International Day of Light, but over at GLTS, school officials are brainstorming ways they can continue the practices they learned this week by implementing sustainable practices throughout the curriculum and into each technical area of study.
“What I think students and administrators took away from Liter of Light’s visit to GLTS is a deeper understanding of sustainability, and how even the smallest and simplest projects can make a positive difference people’s lives,” Superintendent Lavoie said. “I want to thank Liter of Light for giving GLTS the opportunity to contribute to their project and for providing this valuable educational experience.”