Flashlights for Maria and Hailey : Philanthropic Engineering

Preston Middle School asks its students “how are you going to change the world today?” They believe that learning is meant to make people lives better and students should not wait until tomorrow to make an impact.

John Howe and Tracey Winey of Preston Middle generously shared an idea for a way to bring purpose to the science 9 class. Students would learn circuits, not because it was on the curriculum document and the to write a test, but rather people will have lesser lives without their learning. They inspired Philanthropic engineering.

Today, Leah, one of my students, spoke to all the grade 9 classes about her experience building houses in the Dominican Republic. She impressed upon us how happy these people were and how they made the best of things despite having very little.

Leah spoke about how Maria and Hailey are studying very hard to become doctors so that they can help their village. However, because of rolling blackouts, they only have electricity every second evening. This greatly inhibits their ability to study and therefore their chances a medical school. They need a source of light to study from.

The grades 9’s have been tasked with studying series and parallel circuits to help them design a light source. The BBT class are tasked with designing a case. The end result should be some light sources that will be delivered in March.

From a teaching point of view, we will have a purpose for learning the science and hopefully empower kids to use their schooling to help others.

I am very much looking forward to how Preston and RHS students can work together in the near future. I learn and am energized every time we interact. Thank you John and Tracey.