A moment in Mexico was a semester in the making for Electronics Technology Engineering students at Dawson College.

The CEGEP students had spent the past few months helping create a radio station in Tres Marias, a small mountain town 54 km south of Mexico City.

The station, named RC3M, is powered by solar energy.

The Montreal students spent weeks building and testing the sustainable technology here before sharing their findings with engineers in Mexico.

"It's kind of exciting to know that what we designed was used and thought of by actual professional engineers over there, and it works," said Amber Louie, a Dawson College student.

Her classmates agreed, preferring the hands-on project to other forms of instruction.

"Our education should go towards getting more real-life experience rather than this confined box of a classroom," said Dimitrius Derix. "It's a way better way to learn what we do actually has an effect. What we do matters and it gave this community its very first radio station."

With the cutting of a blue ribbon and the turn of a switch, RC3M is now a reality for the town.

Having the station will allow for more education and community development in the area.

John Veroutsos was one of the professors in charge of the project and emphasized how technology can help less-developed places evolve.

"The world is in dire need of this type of thinking and therefore implementation of this type of technology," he said. "We need better batteries. We need better solar technology, better electric vehicles."

There are likely going to be more projects in store for Dawson students.

"We are off-grid using energy that is free and exciting as well," said Chris Adam, Dawson College Sustainability Office Coordinator.

"If the students can build it here, they can scale similar projects that need electricity anywhere. That's really exciting."