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Posted: October 13, 2008
Solar Academy - Elementary school education program teaches students about environmental issues and eco-conscious behavior
(Nanowerk News) Sharp today announces the U.S. launch of Sharp Solar Academy, a unique environmental education program designed to empower today’s youth with the knowledge to change and improve their environmental future. The Solar Academy is one way in which Sharp is continuing to fulfill its corporate commitment to be an environmentally advanced company and minimize its environmental impact.
“As a world leader in solar energy, an important part of Sharp’s commitment to the environment is undertaking the responsibility to educate future generations on the environmental issues they will face and the choices they can make to mitigate their impact on the earth,” said Stewart Mitchell, Chief Strategy Officer, Sharp Electronics Corporation. “Our Solar Academy teaches children about topics such as climate change, energy conservation, recycling and renewable energy, so that they are armed with the knowledge to make smart, eco-conscious decisions. “
The Solar Academy is beginning with fourth and fifth grade classes at pilot schools on the East and West Coasts (Ramapo Central School District in New York state and St. Joachim Parish in Costa Mesa, California), and Sharp hopes to roll it out to other area schools in the New York-metro area and Southern California next year. Leveraging its experience as a world-leading provider of energy-saving and energy-creating products, Sharp worked with education experts to create curriculum and presentations that address the topics of environmental awareness, climate change/global warming, recycling and renewable energy, including solar power. The curriculum fosters critical thinking and problem solving skills, while also encouraging students to adopt more earth-friendly lifestyles and make eco-conscious decisions. In California, the curriculum is tied to the state standards which all teachers are responsible for covering, the Science Framework California Public Schools fourth grade, section 1.g.; and is flexible enough to accommodate different class abilities while still adhering to the state standards.
Sharp has operated a similar program in Japan for the last three years, and since 2006, Sharp has presented this program to approximately 37,000 Japanese school children, visiting 537 schools in 2007 alone. Program components include PowerPoint presentations, hands-on solar experiments, and videos.
Sharp Solar Academy is kicking off at Solar Power International 2008 with a special class session led by Professor Gerard Fasel, an astrophysicist who narrates Sharp’s brand advertisements. Each day during the show, two classes will be taught at Sharp’s booth to local fourth grade classes.
Sharp Electronics Corporation is the U.S. subsidiary of Sharp Corporation, Osaka, Japan, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of solar cells for residential, commercial, industrial, off-grid and satellite applications for more than 50 years. Sharp powers more homes and businesses than any other solar manufacturer in the world, supplying modules for one-quarter of all solar systems installed globally. Last year, Sharp became the first manufacturer to reach 2 GW of cumulative solar cell production – one-quarter of the world’s total production – since it began mass production of solar cells in 1963.
Sharp entered the U.S. solar market in 2002 and is currently the market leader. Sharp has maintained solar module operations at its 100-MW manufacturing facility in Memphis, TN since 2003, celebrating the assembly of the one-millionth solar module in February 2008. Sharp’s suite of residential products includes the breakthrough OnEnergyTM solar system, an all-in-one solution that offers enhanced aesthetics; and building-integrated solar modules for a discrete, nearly invisible installation.
Further information on Sharp’s commitment to solar energy, its product line and the ways in which Sharp makes it easy to go solar is available online at www.solar.sharpusa.com.