If we’re going to secure aclean energy future, education is key. The more young people know aboutsolar energy, the better. So what can we do to teach kids about solarenergy? Here are some ways you can help out, along with a few examplesof activities that are already underway.
1. Solar schools. An effective way to teach kids about solar energy is to install solarenergy systems at schools. We’re already seeing this trend spreadthroughout the country. Public schools in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey,Pennsylvania and Utah have installed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.Why is solar so popular? A solar energy system saves school districtsmoney on utility bills and can become part of a school’s sciencecurriculum.
2. Solar-powered gadgets. It’s no secret that kids love gadgets. Cell phones, laptops, cameras and any other hand-held, wireless device with a bright electronic screen. Withthe advancement of solar technology, we can now power mostof these things with solar energy. So if you’re looking into buying anytype of gadget for a young person, check to see if there’s asolar-powered version of it.
3. Lead by example. If you have kids and you want to teach them about solar, use it yourselfby making your home a solar home. And while you’re going through theprocess of installing a solar energy system, get them involved. Showthem the panels, let them watch the installation (from the ground ofcourse) and introduce them to the home monitoring system it comes with.After all, it’s an electronic device with lots of interesting buttons.The more they get involved and enjoy the process, the bigger solarenergy advocates they’re likely to become.
4. Science fairs. Whether their destined to be scientists or mathematicians, every elementaryschool child participates in a science fair at least once. So why notthink of a way to help them incorporate solar energy into theirprojects? Anything from trying to build their own panel to a detaileddescription of how an inverter works will do. It’s a good way for astudent to learn about solar energy in detail and give every one oftheir classmates an overview.
Photo credit: Green Heart Institute
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