Pupils get lessons solar powered
Students from Tawa and Lower Hutt listened to music players powered by the sun as part of a solar energy event at Muritai School.
They spent a busy day on March 16 powering small fans with solar panels, debating the pros and cons of sustainable energy and illustrating posters about ways of saving power in the home.
Ss Peter and Paul student Finn Boland-taylor’s favourite part of the day was a solar energy activity where students were given special glasses that divide light into strands.
‘‘It was so cool how the light got transferred into colours.’’
The day was part of the Genesis Energy-funded Schoolgen programme. Schoolgen gifts solar panels to selected schools.
Muritai and Eastern Hutt were the only schools attending the event which have solar panels installed. Muritai teacher Kirsten Berry estimated that the school’s solar panels generate enough power to supply the lights in Muritai’s senior block and teach children about solar energy.
‘‘It’s having a visual reminder that there is a better way to move forward in the world,’’ Ms Berry said.
Fellow Muritai teacher Murray Mcmillan said that teaching students about their energy choices was important.
‘‘We’re planting the seed now – the sustainable seed.’’
Genesis Schoolgen team leader Maggie Twaddle said the cost of installing the solar panels for the first schools was about $40,000. Schoolgen will expand into the South Island this year with three schools in Christchurch joining 42 North Island schools already in the programme. Since it began in 2007, participating schools have produced enough solar power to supply about 30 homes for a year.
Sun smart: Redwood School students Fergus Hewitt, 10, left, and Dillon Mckenzie, 10, listen to a music player powered by the sun during the Schoolgen Cluster Day at Muritai School.