Solar sunflower blooms at Harriet Eddy Middle School
Solar technology education is in full bloom at Harriet Eddy Middle School!
Harriet Eddy Middle School students and staff will celebrate the arrival of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) Solar Sunflower on campus with a press conference and dedication ceremony at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, October 2, 2012, in the quad.
The placement of the Solar Sunflower at Harriet Eddy Middle School has a strategic benefit to the highly successful Green Energy Technology Academy (GETA) at Laguna Creek High School. The early exposure of Harriet Eddy Middle School students to the application of solar energy supports students looking at green energy careers and creates a 7-12 pathway for students to look at academies which focus on green energy technology.
Through the integration of the Solar Sunflower into curriculum, Harriet Eddy students will have a tremendous background that will further support the students who choose to become part of the GETA Academy. Laguna Creek High School GETA students have been recognized statewide for their humanitarian solar case service-learning projects, as well as recognition of GETA students at the Youth Energy Summit and claiming first place at the First Annual Solar Regatta competition. The Sunflower will also support the preparation for Laguna Creek High School’s International Baccalaureate program by fostering project learning at Harriet Eddy.
The Solar Sunflower at Eddy is the result of a partnership between EGUSD and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). In 2011, EGUSD was approached by Brent Sloan, project manager at SMUD, to participate in a regional leadership team to support the dissemination and integration of the interactive solar powered Sunflower. EGUSD joined other districts in partnering with SMUD on how to bring 21st century technology into the hands of students and expose them to the potential of solar power as an expanding energy source for our country.
The vision of the Solar Sunflower project was to integrate real world applications of using solar into teaching current curricular standards and motivating students to look into careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) specifically in the growing green energy technology field. Ray Pietersen, Science Program Specialist, represented EGUSD on the Leadership Team. Diana Brooks (Science) and Casey Behney (Math), teachers at Harriet Eddy Middle School, became part of the curriculum writing team that wrote curriculum to help teachers integrate the use of the Sunflower into their content standards in math and science.
This project further supports the Elk Grove Unified School District’s efforts to address the national concern of increasing the number of highly qualified students entering STEM career fields. EGUSD currently has nine California Partnership Academies with a STEM focus.