Pupils get lessons so­lar pow­ered

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By SELINA POW­ELL

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.

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