Frenchtown High School
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Thanks to support from the Missoula Electric Cooperative and Bonneville Power Administration, the Frenchtown School installed a 5.2 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system to serve as an interactive classroom tool while building a community of dedicated renewable energy educators. Solar 4R Schools provided middle and high school teachers with a customized renewable energy teacher training in August 2016, complete with hands-on science kit materials to augment the school's existing curricula, and complete access to the resources available on the Solar4RSchools.org website. To optimize integration of the renewable energy science and technology content, every aspect of the teacher support provided by Solar 4R Schools was customized to the unique focus of the school community, including topics covered in the teacher training as well as our recommendations for activities and science kit materials. As part of the installation of this demonstration-scale solar project on Frenchtown High School, 4th-12th grade teachers in the district received professional development related to solar energy and renewables over the course of two days. This training was specifically designed to facilitate a discussion of how these energy topics could be integrated into their classroom using engineering design processes and exploratory lessons with hands-on materials. Both the Intermediate and High School will be receiving science kits of durable classroom materials, related to renewable energy and engineering, as part of this project. Differentiated to meet the needs of each schools' students, 4th-6th grade teachers will have access to kits focusing on the construction of solar cars, while 7th-12th grade teachers will receive materials focusing more on circuitry and the engineering and mathematics behind these topics. Aligning with the needs of their students and the materials in their kits, these two groups of teachers had separate trainings. 4th-6th grade teachers worked together on Monday, August 15th and 7th-12th grade teachers met Wednesday, August 17th during their professional development week.
Energy monitoring services have connected the live performance data from their PV system to the Energy Exploration Center at Solar4RSchools.org, allowing students and educators to compare and contrast key system performance data to other project systems nationwide. The Frenchtown Renewable School solar project went online in summer 2016, and you can view the data here.
Check out these local news stories about this project:
Sun on the Roof: Frenchtown schools, MEC partner on solar garden - 08/18/16—Missoulian;
Frenchtown High School Solar Panels used as a Learning Tool - 08/17/16—KPAX-TV News.