Students will gain hands-on experience generating electricity from the sun
Four public schools in Dominion Virginia Power’s service area will soon be able to harness the power of the sun to help students and surrounding communities learn about solar energy. The Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dominion Resources, has selected four K-12 schools to pilot its Dominion Solar for Schools program. Each school will receive a 1-kilowatt photovoltaic system that converts sunlight into electric power, along with technical support and educational materials.
“Dominion Solar for Schools is designed to teach and inspire students, teachers and the greater school community through first-hand study and experience with clean, renewable solar energy. We’re very pleased to help today’s students learn more about a technology with great promise for future generations,” said Hunter A. Applewhite, president of the Dominion Foundation.
The following Virginia schools have been selected to participate based on their efforts to support renewable energy and desire to teach students and community members about the benefits of solar power:
-Shenandoah Valley Governor’s School, Fishersville
-Goochland High School, Goochland
-Landstown High School, Virginia Beach
-T. Clay Wood Elementary School, Prince William County
National Energy Education Development (NEED) will administer the project by providing technical support, installing the panels, preparing educational materials for students and training the teachers.
“We are honored to be a partner in the Dominion Solar for Schools program,” said Mary E. Spruill, executive director of the NEED Project. “This program brings together all that makes learning about energy fun: A solar electric installation, hands-on STEM activities in the classroom and in afterschool programs, teacher training and a curriculum that can engage and inspire tomorrow’s energy experts.”
The four schools, along with participating schools around the world, can watch their photovoltaic systems generate electric power as they view their data online. The schools also can “challenge” each other to a solar power match to see who generates the most. Students will learn how weather and temperature impact solar electricity and they’ll learn more about Virginia’s energy resources.
Each solar array will have a visual display that will show students and faculty real-time data on the amount of electricity generated. One kilowatt is enough electricity to power 15 desktop computers, 33 ten-gallon aquariums or three 42-inch plasma TVs.
After the solar installations are completed this Fall, NEED and the Dominion Foundation will sponsor a “Solarbration” at each of the schools. The Solarbrations will showcase the solar projects and give students, local officials and community members the chance to learn more about this collaborative learning project.
For more information on the Dominion Solar for Schools program, visit www.dom.com/solarschools.