The best way to ensure a healthy planet for future generations is to teach young people to be good stewards of the Earth. SolarWise is a solar energy and education program offered to high schools served by Wisconsin Public Service. More than 40 schools currently participate.
Here's how the schools and our future benefit:
- Each school is outfitted with a rooftop solar-electric, or "photovoltaic," system that saves the school a small amount on its electric bill. More importantly, the systems provide the schools with a renewable energy laboratory that gives students and teachers the opportunity to study renewable energy in detail.
- Each school also receives the SolarWise renewable energy curriculum. This three-unit curriculum covers general energy topics, presents an overview of all renewable energy resources and provides in-depth education on solar energy. The package includes a complete set of audiovisual materials, laboratory equipment and supporting materials for teachers. Data equipment is included, allowing the students to monitor and analyze the solar equipment's performance.
- SolarWise schools may also take part in Solar Olympics, a renewable energy competition held every May at a University of Wisconsin campus in northeastern Wisconsin.
So both within and outside the classroom, students learn about renewable energy by direct, hands-on experience and acquire a deeper understanding of the sun's power.
To fund SolarWise, customers of Wisconsin Public Service make tax-deductible donations to WPS Community Foundation, Inc., a non-profit educational foundation. The donations, along with grants from the state of Wisconsin's Focus on Energy program, are used to purchase and install the program's solar-electric systems.