Sunny Schools – A Solar Charity
We've already covered the Solar Sister
charity in a previous blog post – today we're going to cover another solar panels
charity in this series – Sunny Schools. They're an exciting environmental education program, designed by the international charity SolarAid.
What is the aim of Sunny Schools?
Sunny Schools gives teachers the tools, knowledge and skills to bring the science of climate change and renewables to life in the classroom.
Sunny Schools also explores stories and case studies of SolarAid's hard work in East Africa, which can bring a global dimension to the curriculum – not only can awareness of environmental issues be increased, but awareness of energy poverty can also be raised.
What do they do?
Schools can sign up to the Sunny School program. This means that they receive a resource pack full of hands-on investigative activities and a set of practical solar kits to explore the power of solar electricity. Teachers are also offered totally free “twilight” training sessions around these issues, so they can learn more about solar power and the kit that they receive outside of their normal training and lessons.
The units in the kits that the schools receive are written by teachers and tailored towards classroom learning. These units are designed to meet key key learning targets across a range of subjects in the national curriculum. This means they can be suitable for improving knowledge across science, geograpy, English, D&T, citizenship and PSHE. The things that children can learn through Sunny Schools are clearly wide-reaching not only from a theoretical basis, but they're a great example of an interesting topic which can help children learn more about their key subjects at school, as well as raise improve their general knowledge of many problems faced across the world, so there is a “double benefit” effect.
Across the UK, the Feed in Tariff has meant that not only have many households had solar panels installed, but solar panels are now seen on a large scale on the rooftops of factories, churches and indeed schools – in schools with solar panels, the lessons freely available with Sunny Schools are particularly exciting for pupils because they can learn more about how solar power provides their everyday electricity.
What does the future hold for the scheme?
When it was originally founded, Sunny Schools started off just working with primary schools in London. The program proved very popular and quickly took off. Now, over 60 schools in London are taking part, and the scheme is currently expanding to have a national reach at the primary level. A new teacher has just joined who has taught modules designed to fit in with the A level syllabus, designing and making micro-solar lights, so this is another potential way Sunny Schools can keep expanding to have a bigger impact.
How can I help?
Sign up to Sunny Schools on Twitter
- Check out their website - just copy and paste this URL into your browser: www.solar-aid.org/sunnyschools
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