We've partnered up with the wonderful team at Solar Power Education to offer local schools the opportunity to 'get hands on' with solar at Ernesettle.
Part 1 - At the solar array
Children and staff join us in two sessions on site and have some fun and informative challenges to complete. Firstly, they explore the journey of electricity from the sun to their homes, are wowed by the number of homes powered, the number of panels and the engineering involved to fit these on site. They have an opportunity to touch the panels, look at data on the inverter boxes and note the cameras, fences and signs designed to keep the site safe and secure. They also learn about all the jobs linked to renewable energy and think about how their interests and skills could be useful in the future.
After the initial shock that it isn't really a 'farm' with animals, the children focus on the biodiversity on the site. They have a ‘spotter’s guide’ and binoculars to use with pooters and magnifying glasses for identifying bugs. Spotting plants, birds, insects and spiders, they quickly see that the site actively welcomes wildlife. They also learn all about the Black Bees living in the thermahives amongst the panels.
Part 2 - Back in the classroom
The programme continues back in the classroom, discussing the visit to the array, renewable energy, the impact of fossil fuels and how global warming is affecting wildlife all over the world.
The children have fun, practical challenges to complete: lots of solar toys to test and review; solar electricity kits to investigate; looking at how to power bulbs, buzzers and motors using solar panels; an investigation into their own power consumption and the chance to use multi meters to find the best place to put a solar cell. They come up with wonderful ideas to reduce their own power consumption at home.
We can offer this opportunity to a limited number of schools each year, if you are a teacher and would like to register your interest, please get in touch! We also hope to run teacher workshops to share resources and ideas.
Equally if you are a local business owner, we welcome sponsorship to be able to offer this to more school children in the area.
"We like the bug hunting because we had fun. The most creatures we found were ants and spiders. My favourite part was finding different flowers and bugs. I have learnt that there is life under the solar panels – animals can go under them."
Year 4 student - Ernesettle Community School
"A huge success, the children have fully engaged and learnt so much about renewable energy and the importance of avoiding/reducing our fossil fuel consumption. It has changed my perception of solar farms."
'Bright Sparks' project lead - Ernesettle Community School