In the News

High school girls create *awesome* backpack to help the homeless

Adrianna Vutrano and Pasha Jones, two students from Macdonald High School in Montreal, Canada, used their school's science fair as an opportunity to invent something that can help homeless people on the streets.

Their invention, a backpack that can turn into a sleeping bag, would keep homeless people warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The goal of their project hits close to home for Jones. "My uncle actually died on the streets," Jones said. "Due to mental illness, he became homeless and started living on the streets."

The backpack, which they've named A Portable House, is made from tarp and hula hoops. "It's like an accordion," Vutrano said. "It contracts and expands. It expands up to around six feet."

The girls tested the product themselves, going into the streets of Montreal to see if their invention would keep them warm. "We tested outside at zero-degree weather, and we stayed in [the sleeping bag] all day," Jones said. "It's super comfortable."

The high schoolers had the chance to show off their invention at a national science fair, and their main goal is to find partners who can help mass-produce their product. They estimate that it would cost about $10 to make each backpack if produced in bulk. "We just need someone that could help us create it at a mass volume," Jones said.

Have you ever worked on a science project? Let us know in the comments!


by Taylor Dove | 1/31/2020