Solar panels and K-12 education

In November 2018, the Government of Alberta announced $15 million in funding for the Solar for Schools Program for Alberta public, Catholic, francophone and charter schools to install photovoltaic systems (PV). Check out the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre for program details.  This program supports solar installations on both new and existing schools. 

What an opportunity to help students increase their energy literacy, environmental literacy, and climate action! In recognition of this, we are pleased to provide a ‘starter kit’ for teachers, to support student learning. This is a work in progress – thanks to all the agencies and teachers who provided helpful comments, and please send your comments and suggestions for improvement to Kathy[at]

Lesson plans and hands-on learning

Shining a Light on Solar Energy - 24 lessons for K-12 develop energy literacy through inquiry

GreenLearning Canada – EnerAction – has a number of lesson plans and backgrounders

Star EcoWorks – Access to Energy classroom workshops – in the workshops, students work together to build LED solar lanterns that are donated and sent to other regions where access to energy is needed (based in Calgary)

Let’s Talk Energy – a backgrounder on solar energy

SEEDS Connections – energy literacy series for grades 6 to 12 – a variety of information and some learning tools

SunWind – solar kits (based in BC) 

US Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy – Grades 5-8 - 2 lesson plans/activities

University of Oregon – 6 lesson plans with student lab activities – high school science

PicoTurbine International – a combination of kits and 3D printing

Florida Solar Energy Centre – materials for K to 12

National Energy Education Development Project – Solar resources

Solar Energy International – Solar in the Schools Outreach program

Energy for All - renewable energy, clean water and global affairs - Calgary area
Inside Education - a variety of classroom resources and presentations

Relay Education - bookable classroom programs, including "Plug in the Sun" for Grades 4-6, in which students build with solar and learn about renewable energy

Inspirational videos about solar power in schools

Cochrane High School Sustainability Club – solar and wind and many other initiativesNorth Carolina fourth graders power their classroom with solar energy
Energy 101: Solar PV – US Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (for higher grades)

Green Energy Futures – Canadian examples of actual solar projects

Teacher professional development

  • Inside Education - Offers a variety of in-depth professional development for teachers on topics such as renewable energy, electricity, energy efficiency and water.

Grant opportunities to support schools with solar power projects

British Petroleum (BP) - BP A+ For Energy - grants up to $10,000

Devon Canada - Science Grants - grants up to $5,000

ConocoPhillips Canada - School Environmental Quest - grants up to $1000

TD Friends of the Environment - grants approximately $2500

Learning for a Sustainable Future - EcoLeague Action Project - grants up to $400

Alberta Emerald Foundation - Youth Environmental Engagement Grants - up to $500

Other resources and information