The scene was set at Pierremont Elementary in Manchester, Missouri on February 19th from the moment you pulled in the school’s parking lot. The front of the school was decorated with large orange and yellow “sunshine” colored bows.
Once inside the school, guests were greeted by helpful student council members in orange bow ties and escorted to the gym, which was brightly decked out in sun-inspired artwork. Principal Kathy Cain (or as I call her, Principal Sunshine) set a tone of energized excitement, as students and teachers – in orange and black shades – made their way to the gym ready to celebrate.
They were the hosts for the Parkway School District’s Solar Dedication Event, a celebration of the completion of the district’s 825-kilowatt solar-energy system, installed by Brightergy as 25-kilowatt BrighterLease™ systems on 33 buildings district-wide. Parkway is the first to adopt solar energy across the district, making the district-wide system the largest rooftop solar project in the state.
They were also premiering their BrighterClassroom™ online monitoring system that will give each school access to the data from their solar-energy system via the school intranet and a set of solar-related lesson plans developed in conjunction with the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Earthways Center specifically for Brightergy’s education clients. And last, they were launching BrighterConversation™, a social-media ecosystem that provides a home for all of the photos, videos, news, projects and conversations being created as a result of Parkway’s solar-power installation and curriculum.
Solar energy and schools pair perfectly together. Brightergy’s three part BrighterSchools™ program is designed specifically to support this pairing. Putting solar panels on schools creates ready-made, hands-on learning opportunities for the classroom, turning previously unused roofs into scientific labs and inspiration for student math, science, art, and even writing projects. The energy generated by the panels and the energy created by classroom activities are both creating a buzz in the schools and in the community. If you were one of the lucky ones to be in the Pierremont gym that day you know, as I do, that the sunglasses were part of the celebration for a reason: in the Parkway Schools their future is SO bright, you’ve gotta wear shades...
Follow Parkway's solar installations at: parkwayschoolsgoingsolar.tumblr.com or #mysolarschool