12 girls and solar energy empowering displaced people

THE IDEA

  • Inventing a tent made of insulating, durable material with integrated solar powered devices and lighting that can collapse into a backpack.

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WHY IT MATTERS

  • Increase in homelessness

  • Backpack tent will benefit their needs

  • To improve the lives of people experiencing homelessness in their community

  • Empowering teen girls to pursue the fields of math, technology, and engineering

WHATS NEXT

DIY Girls InvenTeam is a group of 12 girls from San Fernando High School. Their goal through this invention is to provide a portable and sanitary shelter that is passively temperature controlled and allows for access to modern necessities. 

"We followed the engineering design process to complete our invention. We started by identifying a problem we wanted to solve and did a lot of research on homelessness in Los Angeles. We have read many articles, listened to podcasts, and interviewed various service providers that know the struggles of the homeless population intimately; these conversations have influenced the design of the tent greatly."

The girls presented their idea at MIT as part of a young inventors conference and won a $10,000 grant from the Lemelson-MIT Program to develop their invention. 

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They featured by local TV stations and Ryan Seacrest on his morning radio show. The team wants their accomplishment to encourage other girls to pursue STEM careers.

They quickly started doing everything on their own with Google, Youtube, and a can-do attitude.

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After a year of trial and error – during which they taught themselves the basics of 3D printing, sewing, and coding – the team has produced a solar-powered tent that is portable and can easily roll up into a backpack. Made from insulated fabric, the tents feature button-powered lights, USB ports, a sanitizing UVC light, as well as a safety locking system.

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