Barbara Villarosa | March 22, 2020
When the young students of Domingo Massol Ramos School in the mountain town of Adjuntas, Puerto Rico saw tiny solar cars scoot along the ground powered only by light energy, they were amazed. Sparking more excitement and curiosity, students then shot elastic toys across the room, cranked flashlights, and created pinwheels to produce light from motion and experience the power of wind energy. This energy workshop, sponsored by the Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame (ND Energy) in collaboration with its community partner, Casa Pueblo, was held during an open house on February 20 to celebrate the installation of solar panels on the school.
Representing ND Energy, Anne Berges Pillai, education and outreach associate program director, led the energy workshop. “The electricity in this region is so inconsistent that classes need to be canceled and food for lunches spoils. Renewable energy is life changing in situations like this, and educating the community about their options off the grid is an important component to making that transition,” said Pillai. Sixteen solar panels, donated by Resilient Power Puerto Rico, were installed on the school, and with new energy efficient refrigeration, the newly christened “solar school” will serve as a community energy oasis during the next power outage.
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