What is your role at Solar One, and what does your day to day look like?
I am the K-12 Education Outreach Manager for The Green Design Lab, the Education Program for Solar One. I work with the K-12 Education Director and Education team to establish a stronger presence with teachers through marketing and outreach. Right now, we are working on our campaigns for the spring and fall and scheduling hands- on student programs on our five units: Energy, Air, Water, Materials and Food.
What is your favorite program that the Solar One runs and why?
Solar One has a number of really interesting programs, such as the workforce training program, Here Comes Solar, and NYSERDA Edge Program. I am particularly fascinated by programs at Stuyvesant Cove Park. Stuyvesant Cove Park is an architect-designed, sustainably managed, 2-acre jewel of a Park on land that was once an abandoned industrial site. The Park is now home to hundreds of indigenous plants, flowers, trees, and berry bushes, and a site for many free public events. The education team facilitates our field trips at the park and it’s a great way to expose students to native plants in New York City!
In your ideal world, how would teachers incorporate your programs into the school year? Why?
Exposing students to STEM education is critical in helping them expand 21st century skills and become problem solvers in the classroom and beyond. In an ideal world, Solar One educators would work with teachers to bring The Green Design Lab in the classroom through our five units, co-teach with them and help them continue the STEM learning through our Sustainable Schools Network. When teachers become members, they gain access to our comprehensive curriculum, technical support, and tutorial videos.
What do you hope students gain from participating with you?
For me, working with students is the best part of The Green Design Lab. I hope students learn more their impact on the environment and increase their knowledge about energy, water, material science, air quality and food. It is so inspiring to see students do the hands-on activities and spark their interest in science in a new way. I hope students not only gain the knowledge but also foster sustainable behaviors in their school building and community.
What’s one secret or cool thing about Solar One you’d like to share?
Solar One is an organization of firsts. We were the first organization with the only standalone solar powered building city and we also manage the first all native species park in the city. I think that is pretty cool!