For one fourth grade class in North Carolina, learning about alternative energy isn't just a matter of reading and talking about something that happens 'out there' somewhere, it's also about bringing some of it inside their own classroom. And they're using Kickstarter to make it happen.
We often talk about how children are our future, and the importance of integrating clean tech in education these days, but this teacher really takes it to heart by enabling his class to not only pursue a clean energy project of their own, but to also take to the crowd to raise money for it.
Aaron's Class, in Durham, NC, has been exploring different aspects of energy, and found that they were really excited about the promise of solar energy, so they set a goal of trying to set up a solar panel system for their classroom:
"We believe in the sun and would like to fundraise to get enough money to buy solar panels for our classroom so we do not have to use any electricity from the power plant. We have been doing research on how much electricity we use to power our classroom so we know how many solar panels we need, and how much money it will cost. We will figure out how how to design and build a solar array, and with help we can make our classroom off the grid. We're really excited about teaching others in our school and community about the power of solar energy." - Aaron's Class
The original Kickstarter campaign set out to raise $800 for a simple PV system to provide electricity for their classroom use, but the class has already raised almost $2700 toward their project, so that's a sure thing for them. But the campaign still has two days left to run, so now they're shooting for a bit bigger of a goal:
"The more we raise over $2000, the more panels we'll be able to buy to sell clean electricity to our community! If we can raise $3000 we'll be able to make almost 1kw of clean energy for the grid."
I don't remember exactly what projects we worked on in my own fourth grade class, but I do remember that we didn't even talk about solar energy, much less attempt to raise funds to install our own system, so finding out that these kids are all kinds of jazzed about solar power is inspiring to me. If you can get behind this sort of real-world clean energy education initiative, consider skipping that next cup of coffee and kicking in a few bucks to push this Kickstarter campaign even further.
Kudos to the kids' teacher, Aaron Sebens, who is setting a great example of not only inspiring kids to take on big issues, like clean energy, but of also taking advantage of tools such as the internet and Kickstarter funding to make it happen.