Merriwether Middle School pupils are getting an opportunity to learn about an alternative energy source first-hand.
Through a partnership with Aiken Electric Cooperative, the school is participating in the Green Power Solar Schools program.
During the summer, a solar panel was installed at the school, said Principal Kevin Butler.
“It’s very unique,” he said. “The panel is supposed to generate 1.5 to 2.0 kilowatts of power to the school.”
The panel is interfaced with a computer at the school that allows pupils to see information about the power being generated.
The school got involved in the program when it was contacted by Marilyn Gerrity, manager of marketing and strategic services with Aiken Electric Cooperative.
“All I could think about when she said solar energy was the experience for our children,” said Butler. “An opportunity for our children to be exposed to conservation, to be exposed to alternative energy sources, which are a part of our standards that we have for sixth grade.”
The program also allowed sixth- grade teacher Rewa Milton to attend a training session during the summer in Charleston, S.C., he said.
She received a renewable energy curriculum, a solar kit and related workbooks for her classroom.
“Science is supposed to be hands-on, and anytime you can have an opportunity where a student can put their hands on something and learn from it, they can grasp it easier,” said Butler.
It’s exciting to see what kind of impact the panel will have on the school, he said.
“We’re interested to learn all that it’s going to do over time,” he said.