Telluride Each day Planet: By no means too younger to study solar

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It’s by no means too younger to begin studying about solar energy. On March 15, Andrea Wang, the Solar within the Schools program supervisor from Solar Energy International (SEI), visited Telluride Elementary to show fourth graders about renewable sources of energy. 

“The goal is to bring up renewable energy literacy in schools and also get more understanding about solar electricity, talking about climate change and energy efficiency and how important it is,” mentioned Wang.

Solar Energy International is a nonprofit group based mostly out of Paonia, Colorado, with labs in Costa Rica and Oman. SEI trains and educates adults about renewable solar energy and applied sciences. The Solar within the Schools is an outreach program of SEI geared at educating kids.

Wang mentioned this system may begin as early as kindergarten. With youthful children, they introduce ideas like the connection between the earth and the solar and what creates life. Last month, in Sue Hehir’s fourth-grade classroom, Wang centered on consciousness of points like local weather change, energy effectivity, and what solar electrical energy is and the way it works.

“My fourth-grade class loved her lesson. Andrea was very skilled with this age group, so she kept them engaged and up and moving. She did a fantastic job Explaining coal-powered plants in a way that was really at their level … drawing out the steps of how electricity is made from coal and how it gets to our houses and schools,” Hehir mentioned.

The lesson was hands-on and entertaining. The children in Hehir’s class had the chance to spin a hand crank that confirmed how a lot simpler it was to generate energy for a halogen lightbulb as in comparison with an incandescent lightbulb. Halogen lightbulbs are brighter and extra energy-efficient than incandescent lightbulbs. The children additionally went exterior and created electrical energy circuits utilizing miniature solar panels. 

Hehir mentioned Wang’s go to slot in seamlessly with the college’s STEM power hour on Tuesday afternoon on early launch days. When SEI and Wang reached out to the college relating to this system, Hehir knew it could be a “perfect fit.” 

Solar within the Schools connects with children of all grade ranges. For the middle-schoolers, defined Wang, the teachings transition from consciousness to extra advanced concepts like how a system works on a home and the way a system is sized. In highschool, this system turns its focus in the direction of educating college students commerce expertise and getting them concerned in a technical expertise program. The function can be to assist older children see solar energy as a possible job curiosity after they graduate highschool.

SEI has a protracted listing of connections with different non-profits within the Telluride space, together with the Uncompahgre Solar Co-op and Solar United Neighbors. Ellen Ross, the Solar Forward Program Manager, reached out to Zoe Gillett, the Telluride Intermediate School Principal, about connecting the college with Wang and Solar within the Schools. Solar Forward is one other program from SEI that works with neighborhood teams and nonprofits with instruments and experience to kickstart solar markets and produce consciousness to neighborhood members.

“The Solar Forward began as a rural economic development program in 2015 to assist communities experiencing job loss from an extractive industry decline. Since 2015, the program has grown to encompass rural communities more broadly who would like complimentary consulting based on SEI’s technical expertise in solar,” mentioned Ross.

Ross defined some tangible methods neighborhood members can stick with it the mission of SEI by persevering with the dialog of solar with the San Miguel Power Association and supporting native solar contractors and native rebates for energy effectivity and solar energy.

In the long run, Wang mentioned she would like to work extra with the scholars and lecturers in Telluride to assist educate the neighborhood about solar energy. 

For extra details about SEI and Solar within the Schools, go to solarenergy.org. 

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