How solar powers learning at Louisa High School

Posted at 9:44 AM, Jun 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-06 09:51:32-04

LOUISA COUNTY, Va. -- Solar energy could power 40 percent of the nation's electricity and provide as many as 1.5 million jobs in the next 10 years, according to the Department of Energy.

Louisa County High School is giving students a head start in the industry by offering an energy and power class.

"They're primarily learning about distribution, generation, and storage of power," Louisa Schools Dir. of Workforce Development Bo Bundrick said.

The Louisa School district received grants that paid for all the materials.

Louisa High School solar

When the project is done, the solar panels will provide up to half the power used at the district's central office.

It's also powering the students to learn related topics like math, science, construction, and economics in every solar panel.

"I like doing hands-on things. It's easier for me to learn with hands-on than sitting in a classroom and just listening to it or doing bookwork," student Abigail Donovan said.

Louisa High School solar

There are hidden lessons too.

"One of the things we've been teaching is teamwork," Louisa Schools Dir. of Technology David Childress said. "If you see a teammate struggling, jump in and help, don't wait. And to see that in action, that's more important than seeing them do solar. But seeing them get those real-world skills to be good employees."

Louisa Schools also lets area employers know about the program.

"There's such a huge job market right now for solar energy and installation and troubleshooting," Bundrick said. "Our students will be prepared for the entry-level job going into the industry."

Louisa High School solar

"I'm looking at being a lineman when I get out of high school. Going to lineman school. So I thought this would be a perfect opportunity for a place to start," student Brady Walton said.

Building a knowledge of solar power is Building Better Minds and saving money.

The school district estimated the solar panels will save around $1,000 a month on its energy bill.

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