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Teen Girls Invent Solar-Powered Tent For Homeless With No Engineering Experience, Win Grant From MIT
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Design, Social Issues5 years ago

Teen Girls Invent Solar-Powered Tent For Homeless With No Engineering Experience, Win Grant From MIT

With rates of homelessness rapidly on the rise in Los Angeles, residents are scrambling to find solutions. One group of students at San Fernando High School took it upon themselves to make an impact, and despite having no prior experience with engineering or invention, they managed to construct a solar-powered tent that rolls up into a backpack, and now they’ve earned a whole lot more than just the world’s respect.

The young would-be builders were recruited by DIY Girls, a non-profit organization that empowers teenage girls from low-income families in LA to pursue the fields of technology and engineering. Evelyn Gomez, executive director of DIY Girls, oversaw the project and helped where she could, but it was solely undertaken by the 12-girl team from inception to completion. Aided by YouTube videos and Google searches, the ladies worked together over the course of a year to produce the tent through a mixture of sewing, coding, and 3D printing.

All of that hard work paid off in the end, as the girls won a $10,000 grant from the Lemelson-MIT program, and will present their invention at MIT’s EurekaFest on June 16th. Coming from low-income families themselves, the girls almost didn’t make the trip, but thanks to a GoFundMe campaign that saw them raise over $18k in donations, they’re well on their way. It’s a deserved victory for these young heroines who inspire hope in their community.

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John L
Community Member
5 years ago

This is wonderful, but why doesn't the article explain more about what they are doing? I did a search, and there are now many companies making solar powered tents.

KK
Community Member
5 years ago

It is wonderful, and to people like CHRIS FELLOW HUMAN (who ovbiously isnt human, since humans have BRAINS) Let me explain it in the wonderful way EVERYONE ELSE sees this - This is a solar powered tent, it provides a small home for the homeless. Charities will use donated money to hand these out to the poor. Im not fully sure what the solar panels are for, but it is basically a tent. So Chris, THIS shows how uncaring YOU are for thinking giving a shelter to the poor is BAD

Load More Replies...
Brigitte
Community Member
5 years ago

I'm not sure I understand. Solar powered tents are nothing new. What are the solar panels for? Just light or do they provide outlets? But most importantly: Will the tents be free for the homeless? They sure won't have the money for it. This article and their GoFundMe page doesn't say anything about it. Based on these infos it's just a nice camping gimmick. (Which is still a great invention, well done girls.)

Helping Panda
Community Member
5 years ago

It's not a camping gimmick. It's part of a decades long effort to lure more girls into engineering and science fields. These girls didn't invent anything, they are playing around with things that are marginally related to engineering and technology so an MIT grant fund threw $10K at them in the hopes that some if it will stick and 1 or 2 of the dozen girls involved will end up becoming an engineer one day.

Load More Replies...
Дилян Еленов
Community Member
5 years ago

So for buying a cheap tent out your local hardware store , sticking some diy solar powered leds controlled via arduino you need an year and you get a grant from MIT on top of that ??? Btw : Picture 7 is fake , you can't handle solar panel like that . I am deeply ashamed both as an engineer and ngo activist .

Waxwork
Community Member
5 years ago

You've never been in a magazine photoshoot have you? They stage everything. The photographer most likely said here that looks interesting look like you're working with it. 2 seconds of googling determined the tent is also insulated includes USB ports in 2 sizes to charge phones and also has UV light sanitation to help the tent to keep it clean & free of smells. The phone charging is a major point as homeless peoples phone is often their only lifeline (and almost compulsory to find a job now a days) & it's often hard for them to find places to keep it charged. I could also be used to charge/run small usb type heaters/fans etc for added comfort.

Load More Replies...
Zatch
Community Member
5 years ago

Great! But... it's free, right?....

Sherlock Holmes
Community Member
5 years ago

Fantastic! Good work, ladies!

Karina Lyng
Community Member
5 years ago

GoSun ☀️ Go solar❤️

Load More Replies...
Ginny Masters
Community Member
5 years ago

Awesome! Woman_8b73...a87c16.jpg Woman_8b731e_5934674-5946deca87c16.jpg

Meowton Mewsk
Community Member
5 years ago

That's cool and they did a good thing. Good for them. But it's sad and pathetic that rather than addressing the problem, our brightest minds are just looking to make homelessness easier to deal with. It's sad. But they did something good for the world.

Karina Lyng
Community Member
5 years ago

I called it When Some one Rise for a reason! There are not many people from capital firms who are focused on the seed stage.

Load More Replies...
Goodluck Ede
Community Member
5 years ago

What can I say?Creativity is looking where others refuse to look.When you do this,what you discover is the gold others mistook for stone!!!!!

Ginny Masters
Community Member
5 years ago

Awesome. Woman_8b73...37541e.jpg Woman_8b731e_5934674-5946ddc37541e.jpg

Carolyn Quenstedt
Community Member
5 years ago

I'd like to see this headline changed from "Teen girls" to "Young Women"

Full Name
Community Member
5 years ago

They are not teenage girls?

Load More Replies...
LizzyM
Community Member
5 years ago

Why dont these "brilliant minds" work on preventing homelessness instead (cheap, durable housing)

Full Name
Community Member
5 years ago

?

Load More Replies...
Salena
Community Member
5 years ago

So proud of these young ladies. Finding a problem solving it and working together inspirational teens

Darryl Kerrigan
Community Member
4 years ago

Isn't LA a bit too warm for plastic dome tents?

Astrid van Bezel
Community Member
4 years ago

Why treat the symptoms and not the cause?

Baran
Community Member
5 years ago

This is fantastic, though I still they had SOME engineering experience

andy rubin
Community Member
5 years ago

Its really very amazing and this young girl proves her victory that is very inspiring for us also.

Robert Phillips
Community Member
5 years ago

Brilliant! But hope and believe that it is the inventor girls who had "no engineering experience", not homeless who would only qualify if they had "no engineering experience" - as the caption appears to state..

Meg Mao
Community Member
5 years ago

Wow, i can't believe all the negative comments below. so what these girls are just playing around. what have you done for your community?

lindsayaotter
Community Member
5 years ago

Way to rock it out ladies! What a great idea and a great way of giving back!!

Brooke Fielder
Community Member
5 years ago

Okay, that's cool, but how much does it cost?

duderman18
Community Member
5 years ago

Cool these girls are awesome

Kostas
Community Member
5 years ago

"invent"

Lynnie Hendricks
Community Member
5 years ago

Yeah, cause I bet there's just TONS of homeless with no engineering experience. Oh, wait -- I bet you meant to say that it's the girls who invented the tents who don't have engineering experience, right? Gotcha.

Benny Lava
Community Member
5 years ago

Great work girls. I hope you come up with more great ideas like this one. I was just wondering, is there a similar organization that is exclusive for boys(DIY boys or something)? If not, why so?

Ashley Paine
Community Member
5 years ago

boys already take up most engineering positions, duh.. This is an initiative to get GIRLS into it. get your own club. oh wait you guys already have one called everything else. but cry more because this article didn't mention boys.

Load More Replies...
Chris Fellow Human
Community Member
5 years ago

Yeah cuz I am sure everyone's American dream is to live in a g0d d@mn tent.... This is the problem in this world... With the grant money used to create these things that cops will ultimately take away or will be stolen or ruined, they could have fed the homeless or made REAL places for people to live... Anyone who applauds this should sell their house and go live in one... THEN SAY WHAT A GREAT IDEA THIS IS...a

Kane Mane
Community Member
5 years ago

I'd cool I guess, but why make such nonsense for the 'homeless' when they can help the homeless by helping them look for a job to support

Liliana V
Community Member
5 years ago

This whole comment section is filled with people questioning the tent and saying it's not some thing new... whatever! Can't people just appreciate what these girls did and their effort? I say congrats for getting into MIT, that's amazing! (And by the way the tent is also insulated includes USB ports in 2 sizes to charge phones and also has UV light sanitation to help the tent to keep it clean & free of smells. The phone charging is a major point as homeless peoples phone is often their only lifeline & it's often hard for them to find places to keep it charged. I could also be used to charge/run small USB type heaters/fans etc for added comfort.)

Jim Hubbard
Community Member
5 years ago

First, they didn't "get into MIT". They got a $10,000 grant from MIT - HUGE difference. Second, people are right to question the validity of the "invention". If the girls cannot take people asking questions, they will fail utterly at any form of scientific endeavor. Third, this tent could actually be dangerous. If UV light sanitation to sanitize the tent, I hope it isn't while a person is in it. "UV rays can also damage the eyes as more than 99% of UV radiation is absorbed by the front of the eyes. Corneal damage, cataracts, and macular degeneration are all possible chronic effects from UV exposure and can ultimately lead to blindness. "

Load More Replies...
Jonathan Eatsalot
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

encouraging people to stay out on the streets longer?

DancingToMyself
Community Member
5 years ago

Yup, and more comfy. :p

Load More Replies...
Alberto
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

It almost makes you want to become a tramp…

tbbaot
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

Will need a beer and wine cooler and a place to hide the used needles to really replace the cardboard box

John L
Community Member
5 years ago

This is wonderful, but why doesn't the article explain more about what they are doing? I did a search, and there are now many companies making solar powered tents.

KK
Community Member
5 years ago

It is wonderful, and to people like CHRIS FELLOW HUMAN (who ovbiously isnt human, since humans have BRAINS) Let me explain it in the wonderful way EVERYONE ELSE sees this - This is a solar powered tent, it provides a small home for the homeless. Charities will use donated money to hand these out to the poor. Im not fully sure what the solar panels are for, but it is basically a tent. So Chris, THIS shows how uncaring YOU are for thinking giving a shelter to the poor is BAD

Load More Replies...
Brigitte
Community Member
5 years ago

I'm not sure I understand. Solar powered tents are nothing new. What are the solar panels for? Just light or do they provide outlets? But most importantly: Will the tents be free for the homeless? They sure won't have the money for it. This article and their GoFundMe page doesn't say anything about it. Based on these infos it's just a nice camping gimmick. (Which is still a great invention, well done girls.)

Helping Panda
Community Member
5 years ago

It's not a camping gimmick. It's part of a decades long effort to lure more girls into engineering and science fields. These girls didn't invent anything, they are playing around with things that are marginally related to engineering and technology so an MIT grant fund threw $10K at them in the hopes that some if it will stick and 1 or 2 of the dozen girls involved will end up becoming an engineer one day.

Load More Replies...
Дилян Еленов
Community Member
5 years ago

So for buying a cheap tent out your local hardware store , sticking some diy solar powered leds controlled via arduino you need an year and you get a grant from MIT on top of that ??? Btw : Picture 7 is fake , you can't handle solar panel like that . I am deeply ashamed both as an engineer and ngo activist .

Waxwork
Community Member
5 years ago

You've never been in a magazine photoshoot have you? They stage everything. The photographer most likely said here that looks interesting look like you're working with it. 2 seconds of googling determined the tent is also insulated includes USB ports in 2 sizes to charge phones and also has UV light sanitation to help the tent to keep it clean & free of smells. The phone charging is a major point as homeless peoples phone is often their only lifeline (and almost compulsory to find a job now a days) & it's often hard for them to find places to keep it charged. I could also be used to charge/run small usb type heaters/fans etc for added comfort.

Load More Replies...
Zatch
Community Member
5 years ago

Great! But... it's free, right?....

Sherlock Holmes
Community Member
5 years ago

Fantastic! Good work, ladies!

Karina Lyng
Community Member
5 years ago

GoSun ☀️ Go solar❤️

Load More Replies...
Ginny Masters
Community Member
5 years ago

Awesome! Woman_8b73...a87c16.jpg Woman_8b731e_5934674-5946deca87c16.jpg

Meowton Mewsk
Community Member
5 years ago

That's cool and they did a good thing. Good for them. But it's sad and pathetic that rather than addressing the problem, our brightest minds are just looking to make homelessness easier to deal with. It's sad. But they did something good for the world.

Karina Lyng
Community Member
5 years ago

I called it When Some one Rise for a reason! There are not many people from capital firms who are focused on the seed stage.

Load More Replies...
Goodluck Ede
Community Member
5 years ago

What can I say?Creativity is looking where others refuse to look.When you do this,what you discover is the gold others mistook for stone!!!!!

Ginny Masters
Community Member
5 years ago

Awesome. Woman_8b73...37541e.jpg Woman_8b731e_5934674-5946ddc37541e.jpg

Carolyn Quenstedt
Community Member
5 years ago

I'd like to see this headline changed from "Teen girls" to "Young Women"

Full Name
Community Member
5 years ago

They are not teenage girls?

Load More Replies...
LizzyM
Community Member
5 years ago

Why dont these "brilliant minds" work on preventing homelessness instead (cheap, durable housing)

Full Name
Community Member
5 years ago

?

Load More Replies...
Salena
Community Member
5 years ago

So proud of these young ladies. Finding a problem solving it and working together inspirational teens

Darryl Kerrigan
Community Member
4 years ago

Isn't LA a bit too warm for plastic dome tents?

Astrid van Bezel
Community Member
4 years ago

Why treat the symptoms and not the cause?

Baran
Community Member
5 years ago

This is fantastic, though I still they had SOME engineering experience

andy rubin
Community Member
5 years ago

Its really very amazing and this young girl proves her victory that is very inspiring for us also.

Robert Phillips
Community Member
5 years ago

Brilliant! But hope and believe that it is the inventor girls who had "no engineering experience", not homeless who would only qualify if they had "no engineering experience" - as the caption appears to state..

Meg Mao
Community Member
5 years ago

Wow, i can't believe all the negative comments below. so what these girls are just playing around. what have you done for your community?

lindsayaotter
Community Member
5 years ago

Way to rock it out ladies! What a great idea and a great way of giving back!!

Brooke Fielder
Community Member
5 years ago

Okay, that's cool, but how much does it cost?

duderman18
Community Member
5 years ago

Cool these girls are awesome

Kostas
Community Member
5 years ago

"invent"

Lynnie Hendricks
Community Member
5 years ago

Yeah, cause I bet there's just TONS of homeless with no engineering experience. Oh, wait -- I bet you meant to say that it's the girls who invented the tents who don't have engineering experience, right? Gotcha.

Benny Lava
Community Member
5 years ago

Great work girls. I hope you come up with more great ideas like this one. I was just wondering, is there a similar organization that is exclusive for boys(DIY boys or something)? If not, why so?

Ashley Paine
Community Member
5 years ago

boys already take up most engineering positions, duh.. This is an initiative to get GIRLS into it. get your own club. oh wait you guys already have one called everything else. but cry more because this article didn't mention boys.

Load More Replies...
Chris Fellow Human
Community Member
5 years ago

Yeah cuz I am sure everyone's American dream is to live in a g0d d@mn tent.... This is the problem in this world... With the grant money used to create these things that cops will ultimately take away or will be stolen or ruined, they could have fed the homeless or made REAL places for people to live... Anyone who applauds this should sell their house and go live in one... THEN SAY WHAT A GREAT IDEA THIS IS...a

Kane Mane
Community Member
5 years ago

I'd cool I guess, but why make such nonsense for the 'homeless' when they can help the homeless by helping them look for a job to support

Liliana V
Community Member
5 years ago

This whole comment section is filled with people questioning the tent and saying it's not some thing new... whatever! Can't people just appreciate what these girls did and their effort? I say congrats for getting into MIT, that's amazing! (And by the way the tent is also insulated includes USB ports in 2 sizes to charge phones and also has UV light sanitation to help the tent to keep it clean & free of smells. The phone charging is a major point as homeless peoples phone is often their only lifeline & it's often hard for them to find places to keep it charged. I could also be used to charge/run small USB type heaters/fans etc for added comfort.)

Jim Hubbard
Community Member
5 years ago

First, they didn't "get into MIT". They got a $10,000 grant from MIT - HUGE difference. Second, people are right to question the validity of the "invention". If the girls cannot take people asking questions, they will fail utterly at any form of scientific endeavor. Third, this tent could actually be dangerous. If UV light sanitation to sanitize the tent, I hope it isn't while a person is in it. "UV rays can also damage the eyes as more than 99% of UV radiation is absorbed by the front of the eyes. Corneal damage, cataracts, and macular degeneration are all possible chronic effects from UV exposure and can ultimately lead to blindness. "

Load More Replies...
Jonathan Eatsalot
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

encouraging people to stay out on the streets longer?

DancingToMyself
Community Member
5 years ago

Yup, and more comfy. :p

Load More Replies...
Alberto
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

It almost makes you want to become a tramp…

tbbaot
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

Will need a beer and wine cooler and a place to hide the used needles to really replace the cardboard box

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