High school senior student, Kelly Charley is developing a solar heater for the thousands of homes in the Navajo Nation that don’t have access to electricity. Many people, including Kelly’s grandparents, heat their homes with coal, which researchers believe may be a major cause of respiratory illnesses in the Nation.
She has invented a solar heating system that functions in a rural community without access to running water and electricity and is designed to suit traditional Navajo homes. Her invention was inspired by the desire to find a solution to support her grandparents who raised her, who have to labour each day to bring coal and wood into their house for heating, a job Kelly usually did but was unable to when she went away for school.
Now she’s taking her innovation to other homes in surrounding communities.