- Associated Press - Friday, April 22, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A group of Ben Franklin Career Center students has been putting together solar panel kits that will bring electricity to Navajo homes.

The six students, from George Washington and Sissonville high schools, spoke at a presentation Thursday at Ben Franklin about the kits, reported The Charleston Gazette-Mail (https://bit.ly/1T3JMhP ).

Each kit includes a panel that charges a detachable battery, which can light up the LEDs included in a light panel when the sun isn’t shining, said 16-year-old student Traevon Isabell. The battery also has a USB plug that can charge devices like cellphones.

The kits will be sent to the Navajo Nation, Isabell said, which is in Arizona and New Mexico and has about 18,000 people without power.

“We live in America, and you would never expect someone to not have electricity,” Isabell said.

Ben Franklin’s Simulated Workplace coach Neva Spriggs says the kits were purchased wholesale through the Christian nonprofit New Vision Reliable Energy. Another Christian nonprofit known as Indian Ministries of North America will transport the kits to the Navajo Nation.

Mountaineer Power and Energy - a Simulated Workplace student community that is part of the Kanawha County school’s Advanced Career Power and Energy class - has raised money to put together 16 kits. The state Department of Education has provided $7,500 in funding that will build 60 more kits.

The next project for Mountaineer Power Energy will be building a solar panel outside of Ben Franklin to save the school money, said 17-year-old student Chris Tucker. He said he enjoys helping people through his work.

“Feels great,” Tucker said. “Looks good for college, too.”

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Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, https://wvgazettemail.com.


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