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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Somerville

Illuminate A Life with Solar Buddy

At the 2024 Summer School in Hobart, Tasmania, the API organized a workshop showcasing the significance of our STEM outreach initiatives. The session featured a presentation by Solar Buddy, involving the assembly of portable solar-powered lights to be donated to children living in energy-deprived areas.


The workshop was conducted by SolarBuddy, an organisation dedicated to uniting a global community to brighten the futures of all children. They shed light on how energy poverty affects 1.4 billion individuals, plunging them into darkness each night due to unequal access to clean energy. SolarBuddy aims to provide millions of solar lights to children in energy poverty by 2030, enabling them to study safely after sunset and enhance their educational outcomes. Through their programs, communities can change lives by sharing light and learn how innovative design solutions contribute to a more sustainable world.

‘My highlight was (sic) building a Solar Buddy which was both fun and inspirational. This project promotes education of children in areas with no electricity access by providing each child with a cute personal solar lamp.’  - Susan Licha

Our goal was to emphasise the importance of hands-on engagement activities in communicating energy concepts to students. These activities ignite curiosity and interest, allowing students to become confident, skilled, and enthusiastic learners by interacting with materials and equipment physically, thereby fostering a passion for power engineering.



During the construction phase, every team had the opportunity to write a letter for the child receiving the solar light. The letter provides a glimpse into their lives and explains their motivation for building the light. This heartfelt letter travels with the light to reach communities lacking energy resources.

‘A highlight was creating SolarBuddy, a thoughtful initiative to support children's education in Africa.’ – Nina Wang

Following the presentation, we inquired about our participants' interest in bringing SolarBuddy to schools as part of the API Power Ambassador Program. 75% expressed a willingness to utilise such a resource to promote the significance of the power industry and its influence on local and global communities.

With this newly acquired data, the API will further enhance our Careers in Power resources and programs. This will have a significant impact on inspiring and energising the future workforce of Australia's power sector.


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