Middle school students at The Renaissance International School (TRIS) recently had the opportunity to really delve into solar energy!

Thanks to Tor Allen, founder of Solar Schoolhouse,  for a fascinating day spent exploring solar energy! Students had the opportunity to consider different aspects of today’s energy crisis and to explore how solar energy can contribute to a cleaner future. They were particularly excited to be able to build their own solar charger and battery, complete with accessories!

Soldering was a big hit!


Soldering montessori science



The students are considering taking these home-made tools to China to support their participation in discussions on renewable energy at the Montessori Model United Nations.  

Students found it interesting to discover how easy it was to build a small system that could provide someone with clean light or a way to cook, thereby increasing their quality of life….if only policies could keep pace! It was definitely something to think about.

Everyone was thrilled to see that solar panels really do work! (They used them to power a LED lamp.)

Montessori science



Montessori middle school solar chargers


Consultation with Evan Forbes from Solar City


Following our visit with Tor, it was exciting to see another aspect to the question of solar energy. Thanks to Evan Forbes for giving our students a great presentation on solar energy. Students were able to understand what the main issues with the use of fossil fuels are (pollution, release of carbon into the environment and subsequent consequences, and use of water) and to compare this with solar energy.

It was interesting to note that although China is now the world’s leader in amount of solar energy used, Germany is the world’s leader for solar use per capita - and it receives about as much sunlight as Alaska! It was nice to hear that we are moving in the right direction in California, where we aim to ensure that 30 percent of our energy use comes from renewable sources by the year 2020.

Renewable energy is the industry of the future...at present, it doubles in size every 2.5 years. Who knows, maybe one of our students will find his or her place in this movement for a sustainable future.


Related Blog Post:


Getting Hands on with Renewable Energy