School district going solar

May 16, 2008 4:12:35 PM PDT
For the first time in Houston, a school district is going solar. While the buildings aren't running on sun power just yet, the bright idea is meant to teach students about the value of alternative, sustainable energy.Fifth graders in the Cy-Fair Independent School District are getting a firsthand look at how the sun can better power their education and their lives.

Cy-Fair student Seth Hua said, "We're learning how solar energy can be used in different ways, such as light, electricity, and heat."

Through a partnership with TXU Energy, the District's Science Resource Center is now considered a solar academy.

"I'm learning how solar energy is giving us energy in our homes and schools," Cy-Fair student Taylor Miller said.

With a $15,000 solar array, the kids can go online to monitor how much traditional electricity they've saved over time.

Thirty-six thousand students statewide will get opportunities like this throughout the state over the next couple of years.

"I think it's really important in our generation. Gas prices are so high," Cy-Fair student Victoria Adams said.

Adams is one of the students who learned about ultra-violet radiation through sun sensitive bracelets, and about the power of the sun through a variety of solar-based machines.

"I think it's really cool because of pollution and the air with cars and everything like that," she said. "We can use energy and not pollute the air."

Kelli Durham of the Cy-Fair School District commented, "Why is it so important to catch kids at 10 and 11 years old and teach them about this? Because they're impressionable. They don't have bad habits. They're open to new things."

Open to new things they certainly seem to be.

"It's important to provide electricity for people," John Detzel of TXU Energy said. "It's also important to teach people how to be responsible with our environment. And the way that starts is with kids."

Again, Cy-Fair is the first district in the Houston area that's now part of the solar academy program, but it is just one of what will be 40 districts statewide to take part.


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