The City of New York is installing large scale solar PV systems on more than 100 public school buildings. The agencies engaged in the rollout of these projects seized the opportunity to link these investments to student learning and improve climate education literacy in the largest school system in the country. To build a community of learning around clean energy investments and sustainability the City of New York created the NYC Solar Schools Program, an integrated partnership of the NYCDOE Offices of Sustainability, STEM and Postsecondary Readiness, the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services Division of Energy Management (DCAS DEM) and Solar One.
Read an in-depth case study on the NYC Solar Schools Education Program HERE
NYC Solar Schools Education Program Components:
- Professional Learning: Solar One provides 2-3 day training workshops on how to incorporate climate and renewable energy into curriculum through hands-on activities such as building circuits with solar panels and sizing a solar system.
- Classroom Residencies & Coaching: Teachers that participate in the NYC Solar Schools professional learning programs can have a Solar One educator visit their school to co-teach lessons in the classroom and provided 1-1 coaching support.
- Career and Technical Education (CTE): The goal of the Solar CTE program is to implement solar installation classes within existing electrical and construction programs at technical high schools across New York City. During the program, Solar One educators visit each school for two weeks to facilitate program content and co-teach with classroom teachers. Topics covered included: benefits of solar, solar site assessment, solar circuits, mountings and installing electrical components, and solar careers. The Solar CTE program concludes with a capstone project where students work in groups to install four 200 watt stand-alone solar systems. In addition to wiring all of the system components, students learn how to mount the panels using the most common method of rooftop solar mounting in NYC- ballasted mounting. The teachers keep all the supplies so that they may continue to train students on solar installation in the future. Schools are also invited to attend an annual solar careers expo to network with installers.
Interested in attending an NYC Solar Schools Education program Professional Learning event? Register Here!
SPOTLIGHT: During summer of 2019, four students participated in an internship with Solar Energy Systems and had the opportunity to install solar panels on an NYCDOE high school in Queens. This internship was made possible through the NYCDOE CTE Industry Scholars Program.