The Service Engineering and Technology Club recently received an award from the Association of American Schools in South America. What was the award for?
We did, yes. It’s an award that is given to school organizations or groups of students who work towards making a better world, are global citizens and have a strong team building component.
Can you tell what the project was about?
Well we have multiple projects and we presented all of them which is why we won the award but in the area of the engineering team we work with solar panels that we installed in the homes of families in Buenos Aires here in Panama, and that’s what we’ve been doing with the engineering team for 5 years now and on the other hand, the technology team works in the area of education with technology, so we have installed this year a computer lab in Hogar del Buen Pastor which is a home for girls who suffered domestic violence, and we have also work with the NGO Aldeas SOS who work with young orphaned childern, and we have donated 5 computers to them because they needed them for college and those are the projects that we have this year and in the future we also have other projects planned.How did you apply for the award? What did you have to do?
Mostly we wanted the award to seek funds to be able to pay for our equipment, to get more solar panels, do more installations. We found out about it through Ms. Alida García, who found out about it and she told us. I found out that we had to submit a portfolio, a video, the main objectives, and an essay. So I started writing the essay with Jose and we talked about all the different projects, we had already talked a lot about SET for like my college applications for example, so we compiled those together, we got some quotes from the team, and I helped put together a video with all the recordings that we’ve done during the installations and we tried to show the engineering solar panel installations, the computer lab that we put together in the Hogar del Buen Pastor and I also put together with Jose a mind map with all of our objectives and goals so that people could have a clear idea of what we do in SET.
What do you envision is going to happen in the future for the SET group?
First, we need the money from this award, to do more installations with the engineering team because is somewhat expensive and we need to finance that. The technology team also has future plans to work with SOS, we will also need fund for that so we have multiple projects planned and our limitations are the funds.
We have a project to create our own batteries to use for solar panel installation and they’re similar to Tesla batteries but it’s going to be like our own power system and we also want to start working more with all the teams integrated together so we have a project coming up to install solar panels and some computers in a Turtle Sanctuary in Los Santos in Cambutan, we also wanted to install some fences for the turtles for the service team and also do some beach cleanups there, so hopefully we will do that soon.
What doe the future for you and for SET?
I’ve always known that whatever I want to do when I graduate and study and go into my career, I want it to be something that would make a better world, whether that’d be working in community service or engineering and applying that to how we can help people have better lives, and I decided to go into biomedical engineering, and SET has taught me a huge lesson, which is that the whole point of engineering, at least in my opinion, is to make a better world and to help people live better lives and so with SET we’ve really been able to accomplish that by ourselves learning new things like installing these circuits and gaining these skills, we’re also helping others have light and access to technology and that’s really what matters most. -Sofia
For me, SET has taught me that service comes in different ways and helping your community can also help you follow your passions. I enjoy engineering and circuits, and technology in general and I think it’s amazing that I can use that passion, I can enjoy what I do and at the same time, I can help multiple communities, creating a great impact. So I’m going to follow that philosophy throughout my life; doing what I enjoy and at the same time use that to benefit others. -Jose
Want to watch the video interview? See below