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Database Provider

Author

Climate Generation

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Social Studies, Economics, Civics, Mathematics

Resource Types

  • Article
  • Project

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Midwest

Solar On Your School

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Synopsis
  • This article provides general information about how schools might be able to have solar panels installed through a community solar provider.
  • It encourages students to investigate and implement local solutions to climate change and learn about how community solar can help low-income communities. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This resource is light on actionable content but it could be used to introduce the topic of climate change and solar energy when discussing surface area or learning how to calculate the area of different shapes.
  • Community solar may benefit the local residents financially and reduce energy production and pollution from fossil fuel-powered plants nearby.
  • There is a link to a surface area calculator tool.

Additional Prerequisites

  • It would be helpful if students had basic knowledge about clean energy and climate change.
  • The link to the story about a community solar company no longer functions, but the article can be found here.
  • The activity could have some limitations if school administrators do not wish to allow a solar array installation or if local conditions, regulations, and/or requirements make it difficult or expensive to do so.

Differentiation

  • The project could be completed by an entire class or a school group.
  • Cross-curricular connections could be made with math and social studies as students calculate their roof area and investigate the social benefits of installing community solar.
  • Students could research local laws, regulations, and clean energy organizations in their specific location and potentially spearhead a beneficial project with a community solar organization.  
Scientist Notes

The activity could have some limitations if schools do not wish to give out their roof for a solar array or if community solar companies are unable to get investors for the project. The resource is suitable to guide students to develop site-specific clean energy solutions and climate justice advocacy. Thus, it is recommended.

Standards
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 6.ESS3.3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
      • HS.ESS3.2 Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
  • Social Sciences
    • Social Science Analysis (K-12)
      • 6.27 Assess individual and collective capacities to take action to address local and regional issues, taking into account a range of possible levers of power, strategies, and potential outcomes.
      • 8.35 Analyze and apply a range of deliberative and collaborative procedures to make decisions and take informed action.
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