image
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
Phone: (314) 843-0102
|
Fax: (314) 843-0508
|
flag image

Knost says solar panels at five schools are 'rich with curricular opportunities'


Solar panels to save district $130,000 over 20-year period


Kari Williams
Staff Reporter

Solar5
shadow
The Mehlville School District unveiled its solar-panel project last week at Beasley Elementary School. The 25-kilowatt systems are comprised of 104 U.S.-made solar panels and are on the roofs of Hagemann Elementary, Bernard Middle, Oak-ville Senior High and the Witzel Alternative Academy, besides Beasley. Photo by Kari Williams. (click for larger version)
December 12, 2012 - Solar panels installed at five Mehlville schools are "rich with curricular opportunities," according to Superintendent Eric Knost, despite the decision to install the panels being financial, not curricular.

"We fully expect that many of our classrooms, K-12, all levels, will grab onto this information (from the solar panels) and pull it into the classroom," Knost said.

Mehlville officials unveiled the district's solar-panel project last week at Beasley Elementary School.

Using solar energy will save the district roughly $130,000 in energy costs over its 20-year lease with StraightUp Solar, a St. Louis-based solar-energy company.

Teachers at Hagemann Elementary, Bernard Middle, Oakville Senior High, Beasley and the Witzel Alternative Academy will have the opportunity to bring information to students through modules that were installed in each of the five buildings.

Josh Hill, a solar installer for StraightUp Solar, said the monitors show data in the following formats: the previous two weeks, month by month, the current day and environmental benefits.

"Another great part of this monitoring system is that students or any guests or visitors who want to can go online and interactively look at this data," Hill said. "They can see how much (energy) individual solar modules on the roof are producing and they can look at historical data (and) download that data into the classroom ..."

Eric Swillinger, StraightUp Solar's vice president of operations, said the monitors allow people to put their hands on the solar panels without going to the roof, where the panels are located.

"It allows for students of the Mehlville School District to start studying what it means when the sun's out, what it means to actually turn off and on a light switch," he said.

Knost said he visited a technical class at Oakville High School last week that was working with robotic cars powered by solar panels.

"(The students) could talk about the process and compare what they were doing with this robotic car with what was on the roof," he said. "So it's rich with curricular opportunities for, obviously, our science classes."

The district is prepared to support teachers professionally, according to Knost, "if there's some professional development that they would like to apply and to better pull the information into the classrooms."

Swillinger said working with Mehlville was "a great leap into teaching and educating students in the Mehlville School District."

"It was a great test, and I respect the Mehlville School District for taking this on when there aren't too many school districts in the area doing this ...," Swillinger said.

The solar panels at each school will prevent the consumption of 3.3 million pounds of coal and 6.6 million pounds of carbon-dioxide emissions over the course of the 20-year lease agreement.

The Board of Education approved the lease agreement with StraightUp Solar in a 6-0 vote in May. Board member Mark Stoner was absent from that meeting.


Tags: Mehlville School District News


  • Related Editorial
    Impact News
    Local meeting guide 2015
    Jan 08 2014
    Impact News
    Longtime Mehlville administrator named deputy superintendent
    Administrative cuts take toll on staff, superintendent says
    Sep 02 2015
    With a new school year and a new era underway in the Mehl-ville School District with Superintendent Chris Gaines, Central Office administrators are shuffling to new positions and taking on extra duties ...
    Impact News
    Superintendent to present‘State of Mehlville’ address
    Advocacy group slates rally at 6 p.m. to support Prop R
    Sep 02 2015
    The public can meet new Mehlville School District Superin-tendent Chris Gaines and learn about the district through a “State of the District” event next week....
    Impact News
    Higher city wages could have impact on local economy
    Erby’s bill to increase minimum wage in St. Louis County fails to get second
    Sep 02 2015
    The city of St. Louis has joined a national movement to increase the minimum wage, and though similar efforts have stalled in the county, higher wages in the city could have a local economic impact....
    Sports
    Mehlville soccer squad young, enthusiastic
    Panthers boys’ soccer coach says squad shows potential as technically gifted team
    Aug 26 2015
    Mehlville Senior High School boys’ soccer fans will see several new faces and hear unfamiliar names the first time they sit in the stands to watch their team compete in 2015....
Site Search


Weather
Type in your zip code and click "Go" to get your 7-day forecast.
Visit www.crh.noaa.gov