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.
Alberta Education’s October 2016 announcement of $9 million towards installing solar panels on all new schools means that 36 new schools will soon join the myriad of Alberta schools that already capture the sun’s rays to reduce their utility bills, carbon levy payments, and greenhouse gases!
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]abcee.org.
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 initiatives||North 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