Renewable Energy Enters the Classroom

Solar Energy International (SEI) collaborated with the Crested Butte Office of Resource Efficiency and the Crested Butte Community School to bring renewable energy into the curriculum of the students of Crested Butte.

Methods include teacher training, presentations in each grade, grade-specific curriculum kits, and installation of a 1.55 kW photovoltaic (grid- tied) installation for the school. The installation of the PV array was in addition to hands-on presentations to each grade. Students from the 5th, 8th, and 10th grades spent an hour each putting the rack and the array together. The ability to learn about renewable energy and then actually implement a working system (complete with a data monitoring component) was an empowering experience for the students. Student-run renewable energy displays will further educate the community at the school’s Solar Energy Fair. “All of the teachers are really excited to receive their curriculum kits and start implementing renewable energy education into the classroom. The students are just amazed by the simplicity, the elegance, and the independence of renewable energy technologies,” said Soozie Lindbloom, Coordinator of SEI’s Solar In the Schools program. While the PV system will only supply a fraction of the power for the school, it will potentially offset 8023 lbs of CO2 in a year (assuming 300 days of sunshine) plus about 980 gallons of water that would otherwise be used to cool off a coal-fired power plant for the same amount of power.
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