We started our experience of “Engineering Brightness” half way through December with no idea how important this project was to so many people around the world. To start off our project we contacted Pitt River middle school and schedule a meeting with their leadership class. My group of three consists of Janna, Sabrina and I, we all went in to there school and gave a presentation. The presentation went extremely well and all of the leadership students were enthusiastic about contributing there funds that are made to the Dominican Republic to help illuminate light poverty. Once winter break was over we started emailing back and forth between students and teachers at Pitt River and we scheduled another date to come in. A few weeks ago we came in for our second visit where all the students were very appreciative and exited for our appearance. We went over a few fundraising ideas and agreed to hold a bake sale from January 31 – February 3. My group and I have made posters that have been put up all around the halls at Pitt, and a few posters will be getting put up in the community hopefully in local restaurants, Starbucks and other shops. Pitt River will be hosting the bake sale and all funds will be going towards buying supplies to make lights to support the other groups in my class who will be doing so. While we were at Pitt River during our second visit, we also discussed doing school visits to local elementary schools. It looks like we will be visiting Kilmer, Central, and Castle Park elementary school sometime next week. At these three elementary schools we will all be giving presentations to the students so they know why we are fundraising and what engineering brightness is about. After our school visits, all five of our schools (Riverside Secondary, Pitt River middle, Central, Castle Park and Kilmore elementary school) we be doing individual fundraisers for the Dominican republic. Pitt River will be continuing on fundraisers for the rest of the school year and at the end they will transfer all the money earned to Riverside so we can purchase all the supplies needed. We are all very exited about the journey we have been going through and have had great enjoyment helping others in need.
Through out this learning experience I have gained the knowledge of how fortunate we are to have all of this fantastic technology. We take things for granted here in Canada because we have never experienced not having something so useful. In the Dominican Republic, Children come home from school to an empty dark house with no cable or any electricity. The life style from Canada to the Dominican are so different. When ever our power goes out we get exited and think yay no school, but When the Dominicans power goes out its not anything exiting, its just an everyday issue they have to deal with. Many children are unable to go to school because it is to cost effective so they are forced to work in the cain fields and do manual labor. The way they are treated is so different form how we are treated, I hardly know one person my age who is 14 and has a part time job. We come home from school and make up excuses of why we didn’t do our homework when kids in the Dominican don’t even have light to do any work at home. We shouldn’t be complaining, we should be thankful for receiving the best education in the world. There are so may thing I have learnt form engineering brightness, such as confidence. Presenting in front of others about this situation has given me confidence on being able to talk in front of different crowds of people.
Over all I am really pleased with how this whole experience has been going. I was able to reconnect with my old classmates while I was at Pitt, and I was able to help a different country half way around the world. I really feel lucky to have had this experience and I am happy that we were able to inform other schools to continue on the fundraising. I really enjoyed having the experience of multiple Skype calls with the Dominican Republic and New Brunswick. Even though we were talking about a serious topic, the Skype calls were fun to check in on them to see how they were doing and to hear what their plans are, it was really special.