Solar One in partnership with the NYC Department of Education (DOE) Office of Community Schools, Office of Postsecondary Readiness, and the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) offer a unique credit-bearing Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) called CareerCLUE (Community Learning, Understanding, and Experience).
Solar One was the first STEAM Education provider and partner in designing the CareerCLUE program with the NYCDOE and the Mayor’s Office Center for Youth Employment in 2016. The Solar One CareerCLUE program content is based on Solar One’s award-winning environmental education program, Green Design Lab.
CareerCLUE components provide students with an innovative experience:
- GDL Content: Students participate in GDL activities such as conducting an energy audit, building solar USB chargers, designing and building solar ovens and testing water quality.
- Career Activities: Each week students conduct research on a green career of their choice relating to the theme of the week. Students also build career skills through mock job interviews, learning Microsoft programs like Excel and Powerpoint, and learning how to deliver professional presentations.
- Guest speakers: Classes are visited by green career professionals, who speak to students about their career and answer questions from the students. The speakers represent a diverse range of green career fields including energy utilities, solar installation, urban agriculture, environmental justice, and water quality.
- Field trips: Each week students participate in a field trip connected to green careers or sustainability. Students visited the Brooklyn Grange rooftop farm, SIMS recycling center, NYC Transit Museum, Materials for the Arts, and the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.
- Service Learning: Each school designs and executes a service learning project designed to meet the needs of each individual school community, while connecting to themes of environmental sustainability. Examples included volunteering in community gardens in the Bronx, starting a school garden, cleaning up local parks, painting a climate change awareness mural for the school, educating community members about energy efficiency, and advocating for a school green roof.
- Final Project: Using NYC’s Sustainability Plan, OneNYC, as a guide, students work in groups to present on how their service learning project ties into the city’s goals around equity and environmental sustainability. Students present their work at a culminating event to representatives from the Mayor’s office, the DOE, and community/family members.