Delaware students help school go solar

May 29, 2008 3:51:38 PM PDT
Students at Hodgson Vo-Tech High School will have one up on other newcomers in the electrical trade industry. Thanks to a company that specializes in renewable industry, and a $10,000 grant from the Delaware Department of Energy, these kids installed solar panels to a portion of their own school.

The students learned about solar energy by reading books supplied by the General Electric company, and by doing their own Internet research.

"I think we're the first people in the nation to install that in a high school. To me, it's kind of a great experience," said junior Brian Ksiazek.

As for why this project is so important, junior Steve Lebischak said "we're going to run out of fossil fuels sooner or later and we're going to need some way to power America."

An industry expert shined some light on the process of installing solar panels: a hands-on lesson that was a charge for students like Rita Mobley who wasn't quite sure about her non-traditional career choice in the electrical industry until now.

Aside from the environmental benefits, there's another reason these kids are getting this hands on lesson. More and more consumers are opting for solar electrical systems and there's a growing need for trained installers.

"Delaware is one of the 5th top in the nation for solar, so our students are going to run into this and we need to have them prepared," said teacher Allen McMillan.

The solar panels will help Hodgson save a little on energy bills until next spring. That's when new students will get the same training, by taking the panels down and installing them again.