Queensland students build solar systems for off-grid communities  

This month, bright young students in regional Queensland took part in social STEM learning, where 100 Year 8’s from Biloela State High School and Moura State High School worked together to create 60 StudentBuddies! 

This was made possible due to a joint partnership between SolarBuddy and leading Australian energy infrastructure company, Jemena.

The students were able to develop their Social STEM skills and create a product themselves that will go on to make a huge difference. The 60 devices will be donated to remote communities in Northern Australia living off the electricity grid – and have the power to illuminate a large room in their homes and charge their devices.  

Jodi Wood, Jemena presenter attended as a volunteer to help the students construct their solar solutions, and be a role model for young students as a person working within the STEM field.

“We were thrilled to work with over 100 year eight students from Biloela State High School and Moura State High School as part of the StudentBuddy program,” said Ms Wood.

“In addition to constructing the systems students were also encouraged to consider issues relevant to the energy system such as: global energy poverty, climate change, and the development of new renewable technologies.”

All donated lights will go on to directly benefit children whose families rely on sources like diesel or LPG generators for their electricity supply, which can be expensive and face connectivity issues. The 60 powerful lights being donated offer a no-cost, reliable and low-emission source of energy that have been purposefully designed to last a lifetime! 

Tara Williams, Projects & Partnerships Manager at SolarBuddy has worked closely on the Illuminating Communities projects across Australia and has a first-hand understanding of the need for these solar devices in remote communities.

“With two percent of Australians currently estimated to be living off the grid, we know for many people in remote communities, access to lower cost, higher reliability, low-emission energy solutions can be limited by large geographic distances, digital connectivity issues, and even large weather events like large floods that prevent regular re-fuelling and service support,” Ms Williams said.

“The StudentBuddy lights overcome these obstacles by drawing on the power of the sun to deliver safe and clean energy. Their modular design means anyone is able to build, maintain, or fix them. We estimate the 60 lights being donated by Jemena will benefit up to 300 individuals and save 76.8 tonnes in carbon emissions over the next three years.”



SolarBuddy is an impact organisation uniting a global community to illuminate the futures of all children.

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