Approximately 250 students from ten California school districts are participating in this summer's SunPower Solar Science Academy, an academic program launched last year by SunPower Corp., a global solar technology and energy solutions company. The project- and work-based learning program is delivered over the course of one week in each participating district, immersing district students and teachers in a solar-focused curriculum that emphasizes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
School districts participating in this summer's program include Antioch, Cutler-Orosi, Dublin, Fresno, Mount Diablo, Oakland, Oxnard, Porterville, San Ramon Valley and Santa Ana. Several of the districts also participated in the 2012 SunPower Solar Science Academy, which served 140 students at six school districts.
Today, approximately 30 students and four teachers from Fresno Unified School District's (FUSD) Edison High School begin their Solar Science Academy experience, hosted by Fresno City College.
"At Edison High School, we are excited about working with SunPower to offer new opportunities to students and staff," said FUSD's Organization Development and Change Management Program Manager Ellie Honardoost. "The SunPower Solar Science Academy helps our educators bring relevant and real-life applications of knowledge into the classroom while preparing students for challenges of the 21st century. We're grateful for the chance to participate, and support development of our community's young people during the summer months."
Over the course of one week, students and teachers participating in the Solar Science Academy work with industry professionals, and participate in learning laboratories and field trips to nearby solar system installations. The academy concludes with student presentations to a panel of industry executives, school board members, teachers and community leaders.
"As solar power plays an increasingly critical role in meeting global energy demand, students participating in the SunPower Solar Science Academy may be the engineers and business leaders charting our energy future," said SunPower Managing Director Bill Kelly. "In the process of learning about solar technology and energy solutions for residential, commercial and power plant applications, the students' enthusiasm and ability to understand complex concepts is very inspiring. SunPower is proud to provide this opportunity, and of the increased number of participants in the Solar Science Academy program this year."
SunPower has teamed with the Contra Costa Economic Partnership (CCEP), Tulare County Office of Education and Vital Link of Orange County to offer the Solar Science Academy.
SunPower is a leader in delivering energy solutions to California's academic institutions. The company is providing, or has provided, a total of 36.1 megawatts of on-site solar power systems at facilities in seven of the districts participating in this year's Solar Science Academy. In 2012, SunPower solar power systems delivered an estimated $5.6 million in electricity savings for 92 California K-12 public schools.