Nonprofit organizations and solar companies from across the nation today announced the launch of the National Solar Schools Consortium at the widely-attended National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Conference, which began this week in Boston.
The goal of the Consortium is to act as a unified voice for the growing solar schools movement, promoting the use of solar energy on K-12 and post-secondary schools, consolidating and coordinating current and future solar curriculum and resource development, and providing tools designed to help schools explore solar energy options both on campus and in the surrounding community.
“It’s estimated that thousands of schools across America have already installed solar panels – but tens of thousands of others are still tethered to fossil fuels,” said Prof. Sharon Dannels, Chair of the Educational Leadership Department at the GW Graduate School of Education and Human Development. “According to a recent study of California schools, an average-sized 313-kilowatt solar system prevents the emission of an estimated 200 pounds of smog-forming pollution a year.”
To kick off its efforts, Consortium representatives will be presenting at several workshops at the NSTA Conference, held at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. During these presentations, teachers and other education professionals will be encouraged to share their needs for expanding access to solar energy and related educational resources for their schools. Interested stakeholders can also communicate these needs by completing a brief form on the Consortium website, www.solarschools2020.org.
“More and more schools across the country are discovering the benefits of going solar,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “Today, solar is the fastest-growing source of renewable energy in America, creating thousands of new jobs, pumping billions of dollars into the U.S. economy and helping to reduce pollution. For schools, solar can provide a curriculum where science, economics and the environment all intersect. SEIA is honored to be part of the National Solar Schools Consortium.”
The Consortium comprises representatives of leading environmental, educational, and solar-focused non-profit organizations, as well as for-profit solar businesses. Founding Consortium members include the Brian D. Robertson Memorial Solar Schools Fund, Community Power Network, Elephant Energy, the Foundation for Environmental Education, KidWind, Make It Right Solar, Mosaic, the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Solar Energy Industries Association, The Solar Foundation, SolSolution, The Three Birds Foundation, and Women in Solar.
— Solar Builder magazine