Things That Matter

These Latina Teens Invented A High-Tech Tent, But It’s Not For Fancy Camping Trips

A group of 12 Latina teens from San Fernando High School in Southern California have invented a solar-powered tent that has insulated fabric, solar panels, a safety locking system and even includes a UV sanitizing system.

This tent is sure to be the envy of camping enthusiasts everywhere, but it wasn’t invented for folks that camp out in the elements for fun. It was invented for those who don’t have the means to live anywhere other than on the streets: the homeless.

This group of caring student engineers is the only all-female team out of 15 teams to be awarded a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Grant from the Massachusettes Institute of Technology to develop their invention. The grants are awarded to teams of “high school students, educators, and mentors that receive up to $10,000 each to invent technological solutions to real-world problems of their own choosing.”

Homelessness, the real-world problem the girls chose to find a solution to, hits close to home because last year, the San Fernando Valley saw a rise in the homeless population. The tent was created to serve this population in particular. “It’s not about us. It’s not about what we do or how great we can be. It’s what we can do to make this world a better place for these people, a better place for everyone,” says 12th-grader and team member Maggie Mejia.

What’s next for these socially conscious teenage inventors? They would like to head to Cambridge, Mass. in June to present their invention at EurekaFest with all the other InvenTeams, but money is an issue. The girls come from low-income families that can’t afford the cost of the trip. They’re not giving up, though and are determined to raise the funds they need to head to Boston.

They need to raise a minimum of $15,000 to get themselves to Boston. You can help by donating to their GoFundMe page here.


Find out more about the all-female high school engineering team here.

Don’t forget to share their incredible story by clicking the button below!

Here’s How Students At A Catholic High School Reacted When School Officials Threatened To Out Their Fellow Gay Peer

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Here’s How Students At A Catholic High School Reacted When School Officials Threatened To Out Their Fellow Gay Peer

Buzzfeed Twitter

Students at a Catholic high school in Los Angles staged last week in unity with a gay classmate who says shows harassed by the school for her sexuality. 

According to a recent report published by Buzzfeed, officials at the school threatened to out high school senior Magali Rodriguez. Following Buzzfeed’s report, which was published last Thursday, students at Bishop Amat Memorial High School, staged a walkout on Friday.

Bishop Amat students organized a walkout protesting the alleged actions of officials at their school on Friday.

According to Buzzfeed, Rodriguez attended Bishop Amat, for three years. The high school senior said that the incidents began to occur during her freshman year when she first began dating her girlfriend when the school’s dean confronted the couple and claimed that students had “complained about their relationship.”

 During her time at the school, Rodriguez claimed that she had been subjected to various disciplinary meetings and counseling sessions. She was also kept from sitting beside her girlfriend during lunch hours. In the report by Buzzfeed, Rodriguez claimed that school officials had threatened to out her to her parents if she refused to comply with their rules, which were not forced onto the straight students in relationships at the school. Rodriguez claims that though she was never publicly affectionate with her girlfriend at school, she felt constantly monitored by officials at the school. In one incident, Rodriguez said that a staff member approached the two teenagers during summer school and told them that they would both go to hell and that “she was trying to get them expelled.”

At the time, Rodriguez had come out to her peers but had not yet come out to her parents. 

Ultimately, Rodriguez’s grades and mental health took a toll until she decided to write her parents a letter and come out.

“Rodriguez, a high school senior, tried to stay positive and get through it, but after more than three years, she was at breaking point,” reported Buzzfeed. “She was crying every day before school, her grades suffered, and spending time on campus brought intense waves of anxiety. So she decided to speak up — first to her parents and now publicly.”

Ultimately Rodriguez’s parents withdrew her from the Catholic school. Speaking to Buzzfeed Rodriguez’s mother  Martha Tapia-Rodriguez condemned the school for how they treated her daughter saying, “They took it upon themselves to parent our daughter, to counsel her, to lecture her.”

When news of the way the school had treated Rodriguez went public, her former peers decided to stage a walkout.

The walkout took place during the student’s seventh period on Friday and lasted for an hour and a half until the school day ended. 

Several students BuzzFeed News spoke to Saturday said they hadn’t heard about Rodriguez’s experience prior to the article, and were shocked to learn how she was treated. One anonymous student who took part in the walkout spoke to Buzzfeed about the incident saying, “I never would’ve imagined Amat to be an environment like this… Once I started to read about the article I was in full shock. I decided to walk out to stand up for her.” This same student claimed that while teachers had commented on the situation saying that there were “two sides to every story” none attempted to put a stop to the protest.

According to the unnamed student, the school’s principal made an announcement before the school lunch bell that they were aware of the Buzzfeed report and had offered counseling services to students who had concerns. 

Two hundred students took part in the walkout, and according to the student interviewed by Buzzfeed, students chanted prayers for Rodriguez. Some called her via FaceTime to show what was being done. 

“I decided to walk out because I wanted to take a stand,” another student told Buzzfeed. “I didn’t agree with what the administration did with the situation and I feel like it was a good idea for the student body to stand as one to show our support for Magali.”

According to a tweet shared in response to BuzzFeed News’ original report, the school has said that it is not intolerant of LGBTQ students.

“Bishop Amat High School is committed to providing a supportive and inclusive learning environment for all students, irrespective of their sexual orientation,”  Bishop Amat said in a statement.

According to a tweet shared in response to BuzzFeed News’ original report, the school has said that it is not intolerant of LGBTQ students.

“Bishop Amat High School is committed to providing a supportive and inclusive learning environment for all students, irrespective of their sexual orientation,”  Bishop Amat said in a statement.

According to a tweet shared in response to BuzzFeed News’ original report, the school has said that it is not intolerant of LGBTQ students.

“Bishop Amat High School is committed to providing a supportive and inclusive learning environment for all students, irrespective of their sexual orientation,”  Bishop Amat said in a statement.

Students At This High School Apparently Thought It Was OK To Drag A Black Mannequin By A Rope At Their Homecoming Game

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Students At This High School Apparently Thought It Was OK To Drag A Black Mannequin By A Rope At Their Homecoming Game

Psychologists have said that the brain is not fully developed until the age of 25, which implies that people’s action before that age may be impaired of proper judgment. In other words, kids will be kids, right? However, some of the most absurd actions aren’t caused by kids, they also come from adults who should know better.

For some weird reason, both students and adults that work at school feel the need to act out for the worse during school hours. Remember the school staff that dressed up as the border wall? Or the other school staff that wore stereotypical Mexican costumes on their IDs? The racism continues. 

Students at Damonte Ranch High School in Reno, Nevada, used a black mannequin and dragged it with a rope during a homecoming game.

On Sept. 20, students Damonte Ranch High School changed up their homecoming routine without alleging informing school officials about what they planned to do. 

The initial gag would be that Damonte Ranch students would have a cowboy figure who would be lassoing a knight figure in order to represent their opposer that evening — McQueen High School — whose school colors are gray and blue. However, the students allegedly could not get a gray mannequin for the stunt, so they got a black mannequin instead. 

The report, from the school, states: “The class advisors approved a plan to purchase a blowup cowboy/horse and then lasso a student wearing knight armor and then stand on the float. According to the (redacted), it was later decided to purchase a blowup mannequin instead of dressing up a student. The (redacted) said (redacted) was unaware that there was a change in the original plan. The (redacted) tried to purchase a gray mannequin on Amazon, but the only one available was black. The students dressed a black blowup mannequin as a Lancer knight, using paper to show it’s armor, shield, helmet, and sword. The Blow up “Lancer Knight” was lassoed around the waist and was to be standing on the float during the float parade. According to the (redacted), they couldn’t keep the mannequin standing on the float and that’s why it ended up being dragged behind the student dressed in the blow up cowboy/horse.”

Just wow!

As soon as the stunt went down, showing the black mannequin being pulled by a rope, people were horrified as they witnessed it.

“Y’all don’t teach black history in our Reno Schools or something? I though y’all were better than that,” someone said on social media

Washoe County School District interim Superintendent Kristen McNeill said as soon she found out about the incident, she immediately launched an investigation 

“This is not who we are,” McNeill said in an interview with the Reno Gazette-Journal earlier this week. “It doesn’t represent Damonte or our district.” She added, “I get high school competition. This is not a friendly competition in my strong opinion.

According to the New York Post, Lonnie Feemster, president of the Reno-Sparks National Association for the Advancement of Colored People NAACP), went even further by saying, “It is troubling that children are so poorly educated that they did not immediately know that the hanging of a black doll is hurtful and frightening.”

The school has apologized for this offensive display of racism, which evokes how African-American people have been mistreated, abused, and killed, in U.S. history. 

“We completely understand how this was perceived and this could be offensive to anyone in attendance at the game,” a school official said in a statement to The New York Post. “This is a valuable learning experience and lifelong lesson for our Damonte Ranch students and staff.”

One thing the school could have perhaps done during this appalling display is put a stop to it as soon as it was happening. Isn’t there school staff at these events? Is that why there are chaperones to make sure students don’t act out in bad ways? Seems to us, these kids were running wild doing whatever they please during school events and on the school campus. 

READ: A San Diego High School Faces Controversy Over Yearbook Showing Teachers In Stereotypical Mexican Attire