interact pg 8 6-27-24

Let There be Light
The Interact Club members tried out the Solar Suitcase after they assembled it. It works. It will be sent to a small village school without power. From left:  Sofia Thurber and Jane Ferraro, current presidents; Logan Casteen, Amelia Haynes, and Jordyn Butler and Eric Levesque, past presidents. Courtesy photo.

Interact Club light travels far
After months of fund-raising, soliciting donations and sponsorships, the Putnam Rotary Interact Club raised $3,000 to purchase the Solar Suitcase Kit and June 18, with a little bit of teamwork, they put the kit together.
Once WE Share Solar OK’s the club members’ assembly work, it will send it to a school house in a developing country that has no electricity job.
Brownie sundaes helped keep all the helpers cool.
Jordyn Butler, past Interact co-president, said:” Overall I thought the solar suitcase was a great project to be a part of. From fund-raising to actually putting the suitcase together, every step of the process encouraged teamwork and community connectedness which allowed us to hone some valuable skills.”
Eric Levesque, past co-president, said, “The solar suitcase was surprisingly very simple to put together. The instructions were clear and easy to understand, allowing for a quick and satisfying product. While $3,000 may have been an intimidating figure, with a couple of fund-raisers, and sponsors, we were able to reach the mark comfortably. I highly recommend the project to anyone willing to take it on. “
New Interact co-president, Sofia Thurber said: “I would highly encourage the initiative of constructing a solar suitcase as an innovative science project within the educational curriculum. Embarking on such a project would not only cultivate creative and critical thinking among students but also serve as a pioneering addition to the academic system. This endeavor extends beyond mere educational value; it equips students with the skills to create a practical device that can make a significant impact in regions beyond the United States.”
June Ferraro, new co-president, said:” I would definitely recommend schools to raise money for a solar suitcase. It would be interactive and fun for students to build in a science class. It can help students learn new things and maybe help them be more interested in volunteering or raising funds. The solar suitcase allows people that are less fortunate to have the ability to power schools, hospitals, and much more. Overall it was fun and went towards a great cause”.
Roberta Rocchetti and Woody Durst, Interact Club advisors, said they were so impressed with the students’ approach to the project. They immediately formed groups and went to work putting the suitcase together. One group worked on the suitcase assembly, allowing a light to be attached, a phone or laptop to be charged and the solar panel to be attached to recharge the battery. The other group assembled a switching box which allowed more lights to be attached to the solar suitcase.  The students completed the project in less than 2 hours.
“I feel we all learned a lot about the uses of solar electricity, especially in developing countries. I am so happy the Interact Club chose this as their Interaction project for the year” said Rocchetti.
For more information about the Solar suitcase go to We Share Solar | Hands-On STEM Education | Global Impact.
For more information about how you can join the Interact club contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or txt 860-933-8603.

#1 Switch Assembly
#2 Sofia Thurber, June Ferraro switch
# 3 solar suitcase
# 4 Amelia Haynes and June Ferraro - switch box
#5 Jordyn Butler and Amelia Haynes – switch
#6 Jordyn Butler - Eric Levesque - Amelia Logan - Sofia Thurber and June Ferraro - working together
#8 Logan Casteen - Eric Levesque - light and phone


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