Thanks to a $400,000 grant from Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) students throughout central and northern California will build 100 more We Share Solar Solar Suitcases for We Share Solar.
Most of the suitcases will be sent to to schools and community-based organizations in rural Ecuador though WE Charity. Other suitcases will be sent to Kenya and other developing regions in the where energy is scarce.
“The We Share Solar team has been inspired by PG&E's partnership with our organization to provide innovative, engaging STEM learning to students and teachers. The global service component of the program continues to be a source of inspiration for the next generation to realize that they can make a tangible difference by applying engineering to solve a real-world problem,” said Hal Aronson, co-founder and director of education and technology for We Share Solar.
Roughly 2,000 students will participate in building the units, which are small, portable photovoltaic-powered lighting systems that can illuminate a classroom. The project also includes teacher training to educate students about solar power systems and give them hands-on experience with them.
“PG&E Solar Suitcase students have the opportunity to explore and learn about key renewable energy sources in a way that is both educational and meaningful. Not only do students learn interactively about STEM concepts, but they also make significant impacts locally and globally by providing entire communities with easy access to clean energy,” said Ananda Baron, PG&E senior director of Community Relations.
PG&E launched its Solar Suitcase program in 2015. Since then it’s provided clean energy for 15,000 Kenya students. It’s also trained and supported 37 teachers in the program who have educated 2,015 Californian students on solar power and renewable energy.
The program also includes a video contest component. Under it participating student groups are invited to submit videos of their own sustainability projects. The winning schools and organizations will have an opportunity to send two student representatives and a teacher, to Ecuador to deliver the Solar Suitcases.Tweet