Solar panel bill could eliminate financial incentive

One of the unique elements of the solar conversions of each Madison County district is an educational component offered by each contractor for the students of the districts by which they were hired.

“We actually teach class as part of our program,” said Craig Martin, vice president at Johnson-Melloh Solutions. “That’s the fun part of our job when the kids get excited about the technology and a career path for them in the future.”

The education includes classroom lessons and kiosks that familiarize students about renewable energy and careers in related science, technology, engineering and mathematics areas at an age-appropriate level.

“It’s all about each school’s curriculum and what they are trying to accomplish,” Martin said. “I’m just excited for the kids at Lapel and Madison-Grant that they will be able to be exposed to something that is high-tech at a local community level.”

The lessons are beneficial not only in terms of book learning but also may have a trickle-down effect to the students’ households, where parents might be willing to convert to LED lighting, he said.

“That’s kind of a nice message they can take home," Martin said. "Look at what we’re doing at school.”

Madison-Grant United School Corp superintendent Dr. Scott Deetz said he considered the educational opportunity, which will include a dedicated educator to coordinate the program, as one of the most exciting parts of the project.

“We will get the elementary schools involved for tours and field trips,” he said.

Follow Rebecca R. Bibbs on Twitter at @RebeccaB_THB, or call 640-4883.

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