Riverview students taking bright idea to science fair in Rome
Published Tuesday, October 8, 2019 3:34PM ADT
Students from Riverview High in New Brunswick have a bright idea that is taking them all the way to Rome.
The group makes 3D printed lanterns and sends them around the world to people experiencing light poverty.
"We'll take a circuit board and then we'll put all of the individual pieces in and we'll take a soldering iron and melt the backs of them so that it's together and it works," said Grade 12 student Bronwyn Dixon.
The work is part of the Current Generation Program, which sees students using their in-class learning to solve real problems, for real people.
"There's something really fascinating when a kid works really hard and they struggle and they struggle and then all of a sudden the light literally comes on and then there's a metaphorical light that comes on too," said teacher Ian Fogarty.
Grade 10 student Beth Stevens got started with current generation three years ago.
"If feels really good to know that my learning and my purpose and my education can be for more than just myself," Stevens said. "Because, typically, you go through school saying 'OK, I'm just going to get through this so I get a good job or I go to a good university,' but it's cool to know that my learning can help someone else's learning all around the world."
This year's all-female group has been invited to take part in the European Edition of Maker Faire. It's an international "show and tell" in Rome, where people from all over the globe gather to share their latest creations.
"We are one of three groups outside of the European Union, so we're kind of representing all of America, which is super cool to us," said Grade 12 student Brooklyn Kane. "And we're super excited to show people that just because we're from New Brunswick and we're girls, doesn't mean we can't make a difference."
Fogarty says the group is constantly challenging the stereotypes surrounding women in STEM programs.
"When we think of engineers, our first thought isn't necessarily to our girls and one of my girls said it really well: 'she brings the heart and soul to engineering - girls bring the heart and soul to engineering,'" Fogarty said.
Said Stevens: "Even though you're from a small town, it doesn't make a difference and small towns when put together can make big changes and big influences in the world."
And they're doing it one bright idea at a time.