By William Driscoll, PV Magazine
With every new solar-on-schools contract more people learn how it’s done, share what they know, and make it easier for neighboring school districts to follow the same path. U.S. schools could host up to 30 gigawatts of solar. Read the entire article here.
Image Credit: Arlington Public Schools: Rooftop solar on an Arlington, Virginia school.
ALSO IN THE NEWS
A 13-year-old won $25,000 for a solar-panel invention that can locate the sun at any time, Business Insider
Georgia Hutchinson, from Woodside, California, took the top prize at the Broadcom Masters nationwide STEM competition for middle-school students. She is working on patenting her invention.
Photo Credit: Society for Science and the Public
SOLAR SCHOOLS RESOURCES
- Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in U.S. Schools, written by The Solar Foundation, Generation 180 and Solar Energy Industries Association
- Let’s Go Solar:
- National Resources
- State Resources Include Nebraska Solar Schools
Haiku 俳句 is a form of Japanese poetry often inspired by nature. Haiku poems traditionally consist of 17 syllables on 3 lines. The first and last lines have 5 syllables each and the middle line has 7 syllables. One way to start a haiku is to brainstorm ideas and words related to an experience or moment of beauty.
Haiku Starter – Download & Create!
Bring your poems to the Earth Day events where Nebraskans for Solar and Nebraska Solar Schools will sponsor a table, and our volunteers will post them on a large display board for others to enjoy. Illustrate your poems with paints, magic markers or a photograph, for example, if you want. Click here to read about all our Earth Day activities.
Additional Resources for All Ages
K-12 STEAM Projects & Activities
Climate Change Projects and Activities
By Tish Tablan, National Organizer, Generation 180
More and more schools are taking advantage of their large roofs and open spaces to generate clean power and save money. Solar schools are creating a brighter future by spreading energy awareness to students, parents, and the community.
Generation 180 has recently launched some exciting initiatives to empower schools nationwide to take advantage of all the benefits of solar energy.
- We’ve just launched our nationwide Solar Schools campaign, which aims to help schools go solar with greater confidence and success.
- We’ve partnered with The Solar Foundation and the Solar Energy Industries Association to produce the 2017 Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in US Schools. This report provides the most comprehensive inventory of solar schools across America and shares the successful approaches of schools transitioning to solar power
- In addition to the report, Generation 180 offers how-to resources to empower stakeholders to become solar champions who can effectively advocate for solar schools in their own communities.
You Can Help Schools Go Solar
You can help make a brighter future possible. Generation 180 is forming teams of volunteers throughout the country to rally local support from educators, district leaders and community members and providing resources to assist schools in going solar. Contact us to learn about starting a volunteer team in your community. Learn about volunteer teams.
- Generation 180 is a non-profit committed to advancing the transition to clean energy and supporting a cultural shift in energy awareness through original, engaging content, digitally-enabled campaigns, and an empowered volunteer network.
- Questions? Contact National Organizer Tish Tabian: firstname.lastname@example.org
- U.S. Solar Schools Map
- Nebraska Solar Schools, founded by Nebraskans for Solar and statewide partners, is a program that provides K-12 educators with resources and tools for incorporating renewable energy education into their classrooms and schools. The resources support Nebraska and national science standards. The program is offered to public and non-public schools, as well as places like schools such as children’s museums, zoos, nature preserves and science and technology centers.
Lauren Slagter, Michigan Live
Michigan students in sixth through 12th grade are invited to find ways to use solar energy in their schools as part of a statewide contest. “My Solar School Contest” is a collaborative project of the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor and the U.S. Green Building Council Detroit Region, in partnership with Generation 180, Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association, EcoWorks and the U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan Region. More than 5,500 schools across the country are investing in solar installations and educating students about clean energy.
Click here to continue reading. And here for more information on the My Solar School Contest.
Photo by the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor: Students work on a solar energy project at Upland Hills School in Oxford.
Melanie Csepiga, Northwest Indiana Times
LOWELL — The Tri-Creek School Board has moved on its long-anticipated solar energy project, awarding contracts for the installation of solar panel arrays at four of the district’s five schools. Midwest Wind & Solar of Griffith working with South Bend-based Inovateus won the contract for Oak Hill, Lake Prairie and Three Creeks elementary school installations with bids not to exceed $543,463, $525,423, and $454,757, respectively. GRNE Solutions’ bid of $1,462,649 earned the Omaha, Nebraska company the Lowell Middle School part of the project. Continue reading.
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Tri-Creek School Board advances solar project
Lowell Middle School, 19250 Cline Ave., already is home to solar panel arrays which were used as an outdoor classroom during the installation. The panels offset energy costs at the school and the transportation building adjacent to Lowell Middle School. Superintendent Debra Howe has said the hope is to get totally off the grid and be self-sustaining.
By Ifesinachi Egbosimba, ABC Nebraska TV
While most of us spent the day after Thanksgiving digesting or shopping, two brothers from Omaha were loading up solar equipment to take to Standing Rock, allowing activists to share their experiences with the world . . . Twin brothers Scott and Eric Williams, drove 9 hours from Omaha to the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, to use their skills to help demonstrators document their fight. Read more here.
Bold Nebraska’s Tiny Barn Campaign
Photo: Eric and Scott Williams from Omaha posing with a solar panel they installed at the Standing Rock Reservation. The solar panel lights the tiny barn and provides clean energy to charge phones, computers and other electronic devices. Credit: Creative Commons, Scott Williams.
Eric is President of Nebraskans for Solar, and they are both members of the Nebraska Solar Schools working group.
Nebraska Solar Schools launched the Adopt-A-School Program last week at the Nebraska Association of Teachers of Science (NATS) Fall Conference. The Adopt-A-School Program is for Nebraska educators at public and non-public schools, as well as places like schools, who are interested in collaborating with potential funders to install a photovoltaic (PV) system at their school and/or purchase solar energy kits, books and other educational materials.
The Adopt-A-School Program also seeks funding partners: philanthropists, foundations, and businesses interested in collaborating with a Nebraska school or a place like a school that wants to “go solar.” For more information, visit: www.nebraskasolarschools.org
Photo Courtesy of Black Rock Solar
By Kelly Vaughn, Green Biz
Current discussions on how to improve education have focused on better teachers, better technology and more funding (which deepens the debate on who should pay for it). But consider that each year K–12 schools spend more than $8 billion on energy — more than they spend on computers and textbooks combined. Too commonly overlooked is the opportunity to cost-effectively improve our nation’s schools and enhance student performance by tackling the performance of the very buildings in which children, faculty and staff spend more than eight hours each day. With energy costs averaging about $300 per student per year, cash-strapped districts have found improving energy performance as the best way to lower operating and maintenance costs. Click to read more
Photo: Schools that integrate solar panels onto their campuses can teach valuable hands-on lessons to students about physics, technology and global stewardship. Credit: Shutterstock / pisaphotography
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
The enormous scale of all the energy that we never used, by Chris Mooney, The Washington Post
Click here to download the new American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (AEEE) Report that Mooney references in his article: The Greatest Energy Story You Haven’t Heard: How Investing in Energy Efficiency Changed the US Power Sector and Gave Us a Tool to Tackle Climate Change
By John Liesveld, Fremont Tribune
The Solar Car Challenge represents a year-long educational program that promotes STEM-based (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) initiatives by inspiring high school-age students to design, build and evaluate a solar car from the ground up. The challenge culminates in a 1,000 mile test run for the participating teams that takes them on a race from Fort Worth to Minneapolis with various overnight stops along the way. One of those stops will be in Fremont at the Walmart Supercenter where the cars will be displayed this evening between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Team members will also be present to answer questions about their cars and the Solar Car Challenge. Read more.
Photo: Courtesy of Alex Winston, 2016 Solar Car Challenge participant
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Solar Car Challenge update from Ardmore, Fremont Tribune
Under weightless energy, the future rolls in, Fremont Tribune
Solar Car Challenge opens doors for young women in STEM, Dallas News
By Deanna Weniger, Grand Forks Herald
Four Farmington, Minn., schools should have solar panels on their roofs by the end of September.The school board on Monday approved a contract with Edina-based Sundial Solar Energy to put solar panels on Boeckman and Dodge middle schools and Riverview and Farmington elementary schools. The district currently pays a $976,000 annual electricity bill. Once the arrays are up and running, Sundial Solar estimates the the district could save about $74,250 in energy costs after expenses in the first year. They could save up to $2.7 million over the length of the 25-year contract. They could save a lot more if, by year seven, they choose to buy out their investor. Continue reading.
Photo by vencavolrab / istock.com