Business

Fourth grade problem-solvers take their classroom ‘off the grid’

Above: Central Park School for Children makes their classroom solar-powered

Image Credit: Kickstarter

A class of enthusiastic fourth graders in North Carolina has created an entirely solar-powered classroom.

After learning about the different ways to make electricity, Aaron Sebens, a teacher at Durham’s Central Park School for Children, asked the students if they wanted to make their classroom solar-powered. The answer was a resounding yes.

The students turned to Kickstarter to crowdfund the project. The goal was to raise $800 for the materials needed to power the classroom, but the project surpassed expectations, raising $5,800 from 201 supporters in just two weeks.

The additional funds will go toward making a larger solar array, purchasing materials for the entire fourth grade to make electricity-generating wind turbines, and sharing resources with the entire school.

“Our project shows that fourth graders understand how solar power works and how it can work for everyone,” Sebens said in a video documenting the project.

Throughout the project, students learned how solar energy is a sustainable resource that can power more than just a classroom, generating excitement among the students about solar energy and its applications in everyday life. The project was recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy for demonstrating that solar power is a clean, renewable source of energy that anyone can use.

The project culminated with a “flip the switch” celebration that officially took the fourth grade classroom off the grid.

“There is a magic to solar power,” Sebens said in the video. Based on the student’s reactions when their classroom was illuminated, they could feel that magic, too.

Check out the full video below.


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