Solar Lamps for Puerto Rico made by middle-schoolers

Earlier I posted about the Joule Thief lamps my electronics students made. Students soldered the circuit, designed enclosures and assembled the lamps. We made multiple copies of the best designs of the enclosures.

Joule Thief Project

The enclosures turned out really nice! We had a few different 3-D printed designs, and one really cute “upcycled” design made from household items.

After printing the enclosures and gathering materials, we had an assembly party in class. Students signed up for the design of their choice, and the student that created the design coached them through the assembly process. We signed cards, took pictures and put all of the lamps in a box. There are 27 of them!

I was able to make contact with person I follow on Twitter, Dr. Antonio Paris, who is busy delivering supplies to Puerto Rico for hurricane relief. A vast majority of the island still has no reliable electricity! Solar lamps are a key item that people need. I got his address and shipped the box out. You can reach Dr. Paris on his GoFundMe page.

We hope our little lamps are useful to anyone who needs a rechargeable light.

If you would like to participate in this process, I was able to gather all of the instructions in one place in this Google Doc.


Please reach out to me or find the Engineering Brightness project at: if you would like to get your students involved in learning about circuitry and engineering for social good. ๐Ÿ™‚



About dupriestmath

I'm a former software engineer who has taught middle school math and computer science for the past 6 years. I believe every kid has the right to be a thinker. I started this blog to save resources for integrating programming in the Common Core math classroom. I also use it to save my lessons and reflections from teaching budding computer scientists! Coding has transformed how I teach and think. You'll love what it does for you. You should try it.

3 responses to “Solar Lamps for Puerto Rico made by middle-schoolers”

  1. carozzak says :

    Hi, I love this project so much! I am currently teaching an 8th grade tech elective class and am always looking for authentic meaningful projects. I would love for my class to participate in this project. I checked the website but it wasn’t clear on how I could get started. Could you provide any guidance?

    P.S. I love reading your blog, your work with students is outstanding!

  2. dupriestmath says :

    I would love to converse with you more about this! I’m going to do the project again next semester and have tons of suggestions for where the lanterns could be used. ๐Ÿ™‚ I recommend you check out the Google Doc I made here: Start by ordering the circuit boards and the other components and work from there. If you would like to correspond over email, send me a message! dawnd –at — psdschools — dot — org


  3. carozzak says :

    Thank you so much for sharing, I am so excited! I will take a look and send you an email.

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