Program Outline

Below is an outline of the Solar Energy Education & Development Program, including its objectives and components.

Program Objectives 

The main objectives of Nebraska Solar Schools’ Solar Energy Education & Development Program are to: 

  • Provide K-12 teachers with interactive, fun, and educational renewable energy resources that complement and enrich their Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) classroom and after-school programs.
  • Provide schools that wish to install a photovoltaic system the online resources they need to make informed decisions throughout the process.
  • Involve the community in the program, including parents and grandparents; renewable energy instructors, designers and installers; renewable energy experts at local utility companies; and community leaders. Examples of the ways they might participate include: helping to organize or present workshops; assisting with students’ science fair projects and community renewable energy fairs, solar tours and other field trips; leading or assisting in a fundraising campaign to develop a solar installation at their school.
  • Develop conduits from our K-12 classrooms to post-high-school solar energy education and training programs and to our state’s solar work sites.
  • Provide schools in the communities where they have the option of purchasing shares from their local community solar farm with program information and the names of resource persons to contact. Fremont is an example of a community that allows schools to participate in their community solar program.
  • Add a minimum of 6 Nebraska schools to The Solar Foundation’s and Generation 180’s Solar Schools Maps, which show over 5,000 schools that have installed a photovoltaic project and include renewable energy in their STEAM-based education programs.

Program Components

Curriculum Resources

  • National Energy Education Development (NEED) Solar Energy Kits
    The Sun And Its Energy: Grades K-2
    Wonders of the Sun: Grades 3-5
    Energy From the Sun: Grades 6-8
    Exploring Photovoltaics: Grades 9-12
  • Florida Solar Energy Center Materials
    Solar Matters I: A Solar Energy Science Unit for Grades K-2
    Solar Matters II: A Solar Energy Science Unit for Grades 3-5
    Solar Matters III: A Solar Energy Science Unit for Grades 6-8
    Understanding Solar Energy: A Solar Energy Science Unit for Grades 9-12
  • Additional Renewable Energy Resources
    Nebraska Solar Schools’ “Links” provide a list of more local and national organizations that provide numerous resources for K-12 educators. Included, too, are links to funding organizations for schools that may want to apply for a grant for NEED replacement kits, Sprint Solar Car Kits, books and other materials, or to help fund a solar installation, for example.
  • Notebook of Learning Experiences in Solar Energy
    All Nebraska K-12 teachers and after-school program leaders are invited to contribute a learning experience in solar energy to a digital notebook. 

Project Development Resources

  • Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in U.S. Schools, 2nd Edition, by The Solar Foundation, Generation 180, and the Solar Energy Industries Association
  • Generation 180 Resources
    Solar Schools Campaign Toolkit
    Benefits of Solar Schools Infographic
    How-To Guide for Schools
  • Nebraskans for Solar Resources
    Directory of Nebraska Solar Businesses
    Solar Examples
    Events Calendar
    Links
    Newsletter
    Nebraskans for Solar Facebook

Photo Credit: Flickr, Black Rock Solar