Peekskill HS robotics club creates solar panel kits for Ukrainians impacted by war with Russia

For two months, the robotics team at Peekskill High School assembled parts that use the sun to generate power. The power can be used to charge a phone, radio or a light.

Nadia Galindo

May 6, 2022, 1:17 AM

Updated 811 days ago

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People across the country are helping Ukrainians impacted by the war with Russia, but a group of teens in Peekskill is doing something a bit different. 
For two months, the robotics team at Peekskill High School assembled parts that use the sun to generate power. The power can be used to charge a phone, radio or a light. 
The finished products are now heading to war-torn Ukraine. 

"The kids said this is a great idea because Putin can do everything, but he cannot take the sun away from these people. So, we are going to use the sun to help these populations," says robotics instructor Carlo Vidrini. 

Vidrini says the bright idea came to them during a competition back in March.
That's where they met robotics students from another team with family in Ukraine. The team of 15 students in Peekskill landed on the idea of sending a source of power to Ukrainians.

"We heard that these power plants in Ukraine were shut down, and we knew a lot of people wouldn't be able to communicate with their loved ones over there," says student Mya Melendez. 

Melendez and her teammates had a lot to figure out, such as how to get batteries to Ukraine since they can't be shipped on a continental flight.

"We had to find somebody in Poland that is going to purchase the batteries for us," says Vidrini.

They also translated the instructions into Ukrainian and had to find free cargo space to ship the kits.

On Tuesday, the kits were wrapped up to start the long journey to Lviv, Ukraine.

"It also brings some sort of peace and some sort of feel of relief that they're not alone in these times, no matter how hard it may seem," says Melendez.

The solar panel kits are currently in Queens and will be flown out of John F. Kennedy International to Poland Friday.

When they arrive, the kits will be transported to their destination in Lviv.


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