The program provides solar arrays on school grounds and software for use in the classroom that together allow students to monitor real-time data on solar energy production. Currently, 35 middle and high schools in EMC service territories around Georgia are participating in the program.
Recently, Green Power EMC upgraded hardware and software at participating schools and unveiled a new curriculum that complements and supports science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) standards.
The curriculum currently includes 57 lesson plans that cover four main areas for middle and high school students: physical science, physics and chemistry; math; life science, biology and environmental science; and earth science. Additional lesson plans are being developed for other subjects and grade levels as well.
The new curriculum was developed by the University of West Georgia in partnership with Green Power EMC and was reviewed this summer in a teacher’s workshop in Savannah to test and evaluate the program. Forty-four middle and high school teachers participated in the three-day seminar and provided feedback that is being incorporated into the curriculum. It will be utilized during the 2014 – 2015 school year.
“This professionally developed curriculum and upgraded hardware and software not only help students learn about solar energy but also provide a hands-on laboratory to apply math and science standards taught in Georgia schools,” said Green Power EMC PresidentJeff Pratt. “In addition, we created the curriculum as an off-the-shelf program that teachers can use with a minimum of preparation.”
Pratt said Green Power EMC and the EMCs in Georgia who own the renewable energy cooperative hope to further enhance the program in the near future to provide more hands-on learning opportunities for Georgia’s students.
“We’re excited to have developed a curriculum that is like no other in the state,” Pratt said. “We expect that teacher and student feedback received during this first year of implementation will allow us to make it even better in future years.”
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.