[October 30, 2013] Oxnard teachers shine in solar-technology training
[Article in Ventura County Star] The 35 Oxnard science teachers at the Teaching Solar Workshop at the Channel Islands Boating Center last week agreed the event was invaluable. The hands-on training was designated for seventh- and eighth-grade teachers from Fremont, Frank and Haydock intermediate schools and required them to learn how to create a solar-powered charging station.

Catherine Kawaguchi, the Oxnard School District’s assistant superintendent of educational services, said the workshop was set up so teachers at the STEAM — science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics — academies could take the information back to their classrooms to share with their students. In the morning hours, author John Perlin spoke about his book “Let It Shine,” a history of solar power. Teachers received a copy. Then Tor Allen of Solar Schoolhouse, a California leader in energy education, told the group that increasing solar literacy in schools is an important step toward a clean-energy future. “As we learn more about the effects of our current fossil-fuel-based energy habits, getting reacquainted with the sun, the primary energy source on Earth, is rich with hope and possibilities,” Allen said. “Raising students’ solar IQ will prepare them to be active participants in creating and adopting clean-energy solutions going forward.”  READ MORE

[October 26, 2013] Solar Schoolhouse at Science Discovery Day.
[Fairgrounds – Santa Rosa, CA] 
Scenes of Solar Schoolhouse activities at Science Discovery Day led by student volunteers from Analy High School EcoAction Class.  Approximately 1o,ooo attended the one day Fair.

[April 6, 2013] Solar Discovery Faire. [Glendale Community College – Glendale, CA]
Scenes from the Solar Discovery Faire hosted by Solar Schoolhouse.  Student volunteers from Crescenta Valley High School CSF club, along with local teachers, helped make this a successful community event with over 400 attendees.

[March 30, 2013] Community Solar Oven workshop in Sebastopol. [Analy High School – Makerspace]
Scenes from the workshop…   The new design is lighter and includes a reflector that doubles as a lid.

[November 18, 2012] Teachers get bright ideas for lessons during solar workshop in Camarillo.  
(Article in Ventura County Star) Twenty teachers from across Ventura County learned at a Saturday workshop about solar energy concepts they can bring to their classrooms to inspire students.  Funded by a $10,000 grant from Edison International to the Sustainability Council of Ventura County, the workshop was offered for teacher professional development in the area of energy and the environment. It was held at Camarillo’s Conference and Educational Services Center.  “In order to provide a great program for students, we have to provide the support for teachers,” said Debby West, the Oak Park Unified School District’s science enrichment specialist. “Edison International gets that.”   Tor Allen, with Solar Schoolhouse, led the workshop, which included video and hands-on projects the teachers will bring back to their students.  “We work with teachers to bring solar energy into….[READ MORE]


[December 2012] Cool Tools for Learning.  A lunchbox? A solar charger? A teaching device?
The Solar Schoolhouse has a learning tool that’s too cool.
Article in Home Power Magazine The Solar Schoolhouse’s Solar Power Lunchbox packs a little power punch that’s helping schoolkids learn about solar electricity. The lunchbox is the brainchild of the folks at the Solar Schoolhouse, a nonprofit program of The Rahus Institute in Sebastopol, California ( The program has hosted seminars and workshops to help educators teach solar concepts to students of all ages. The lunchbox kit is the latest teaching tool offered for $90 through the Schoolhouse’s catalog—which includes DIY solar projects like a PV cell classroom set and a solar fountain kit. “There is a growing interest at K-12 schools in learning about solar energy,…[READ MORE]


[May 12, 2012] Solar Fair Harnesses young minds
Article in Glendale News Press featuring a Solar Discovery Faire & Family Sized Solar Oven Workshop organized by Rahus/Solar Schoolhouse. Held in Glendale at Keppel Elementary School on May 12th, 2012.  Eleven families teamed up to build Solar Ovens that will cook at 250-300F with ability to cook just about anything, with sunshine as fuel.  Teachers and students hosted various activities including: build a solar powered whirlyygig, solar fountain building, solar electric experimentation, solar baked clay medallions, solar etching and more.  Several vendors and Glendale Water & Power had information about solar for homes.

[Earthday April 22, 2012] Baking off grid at Analy High Students build solar oven that cooks like ‘magic’
Article in the Press Democrat featuring our first Family-Sized Solar Oven Workshop here in Sebastopol CA at Analy High School. Families and community members teamed up to build their own solar oven.  Solar Schoolhouse teamed with local woodshop teachers and the EcoAction class at Analy to conduct the workshop.


[Feb 10, 2012] CNN The Next List features Dale Dougherty, our neighbor in Sebastopol, who founded and runs Make Magazine. and the Maker Faire.  The Solar Schoolhouse Solar Powered Lunch Box is featured in this video clip as one of the projects being built by the Project Make Class at Analy High School in Sebastopol. The Maker idea is that everyone is a potential maker, someone who creates things.  Dale is working on getting more Make Classes in schools throughout the Country, an effort we heartily applaud, as this is one of the best ways to learn about solar energy and other sustainable energy topics – experience it and then create or innovate. View the CNN video (~ 3minutes)


[March 15, 2011] Teachers become Students as they learn about Solar Energy[Glendale News Press 2011.03.15] With an eye toward teaching students to capitalize on the sun’s mighty power, 17 Glendale teachers gathered in the auditorium of Glendale’s Pacific Avenue Education Center on March 3 to participate in a free workshop about solar energy.  The teachers planned to return to their classrooms and incorporate what they learned into their lessons — the reason Glendale Water & Power sponsors the workshops.   The twice-yearly workshops, hosted specifically for Glendale educators, gives each participant a $1,500 credit toward the purchase of solar equipment.... (Read more) 

August 16, 2010 – Students feed off the Sun  [Glendale News Press 2010.08.16 ] Carol Gregory’s students at Glendale Unified’s summer camp wanted to begin their solar experiments in the shade Tuesday. “That’s not going to work, will it?” the teacher said.  The students caught on quickly. Beginning with small fans… [Read more]


August 2, 2010: School loses a friend [Glendale News Press 2010.08.02] About 30 Keppel Elementary School teachers, parents and students remembered their school custodian as a friend during his funeral Saturday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park…. [Read more]  TRIBUTE to NORMAN RAMOS


April 30, 2010: Solar in Spotlight [Glendale News Press 2010.04.30]  Marta Tyler, a teacher at Glendale Montessori Elementary School, scrambled with two fellow educators to assemble an efficient solar house in one minute, an exercise in a solar energy seminar this week at Glendale Water & Power.  Tyler was one of 14 school employees who enrolled in the Solar Schoolhouse on Wednesday and Thursday to be trained in solar energy to bring related experiments into her classroom…..[Read more]


April 29, 2008- Students Warm to Solar Power – Nonprofit group visits kindergartners at Mountain Avenue Elementary to teach an alternative lesson.[Glendale News Press 2008.04.29]   The sun cooked a quesadilla and spun the blades of a fan as kindergartners at Mountain Avenue Elementary School got a taste of the workings of solar energy.  Hal Aronson, a representative from the Rahus Institute, a nonprofit organization that provides educational programs about solar energy, demonstrated the uses of alternative forms of energy on Wednesday at the school’s kindergarten playground.   “We’ve been talking about conserving energy,” teacher Chris Simmons, said. “This shows them another alternative source.”   Aronson explained to students that a solar oven, which was used to cook the quesadilla, doesn’t need to be plugged in to an outlet.  READ MORE

November 28, 2007: Teachers start solar-searching – Glendale Water & Power, nonprofit group team up to lead instructors in a resourceful lesson. [Glendale News Press 2007.11.28]  About 20 Glendale Unified School District teachers watched on Wednesday as a miniature fan was turned on and powered by a hand-crank generator. Then they tried an alternative.  The same tiny fan was connected to a collection of solar cells. It started whirring almost immediately, powered without any motion, using just the energy contained in the solar cells.  The crowd released a few intrigued “oohs” as the teachers started to absorb the day’s lesson on solar electricity. The teachers were gathered for a workshop on solar power given by the Rahus Institute — a nonprofit organization that seeks to promote resource efficiency — and sponsored by Glendale Water & Power.  For the first time, Glendale Water & Power is teaming up with the Rahus Institute’s Solar Schoolhouse program to help teachers bring hands-on lessons about solar power into the classroom, said Joe Flores, a business account representative with Glendale Water & Power.  Members of the Solar Schoolhouse program have been visiting California schools since 2001, helping teachers bring solar projects into their curriculum, said Tor Allen, director of the Rahus Institute.  READ MORE

Compilation of Solar Schoolhouse in the news articles [2001-2011] posted 5-16-11 [3.6MB pdf]

Summer Institute for Educators – Midland School: Los Olivos 2007:
Read about the summer institute ’07 experience as reported in Santa Barbara News Press(pdf)Summer Institute for Educators – Sly Park: Pollock Pines 2004:
Read about the summer institute ’04 experience

Summer Institute for Educators -Santa Barbara 2003:
Read about the summer institute ’03 experience

Presentation at ASES08 Solar Conference May 2008 – “Using Digital Multimedia Tools for Renewable Energy Education – An overview of tools and methods for developing digital media to visualize and teach sustainable energy systems”.[opens as slide show] Examples are demonstrated. Clay Atchison

Presentation at CITEA Conference March 2006 [pdf – large file 4.7 MB – download or opens in new browser] “Designing Passive Solar Homes and Students Installing Solar Electric Systems”, Hal Aronson – includes Brawley High School ROP project.

Presentation at Solar Forum September 05[pdf – large file 3.5MB – download or opens in new browser] Direct Current in the Classroom – Vocational Connections in k12 Schools

Presentation at Solar Forum Feb 2005 [pdf – large file 2.7MB – download or opens in new browser] Updates from 2004-05 program.

Presentation at ASES 2003 in Austin Texas [pdf – large file 1.5 MB – download or opens in new browser] “An integrated approach to Solar Energy Education”. Includes slides from 5 recent school projects. Main message is that there is more to a successful solar energy education project than just putting a panel on the roof. Bring it in the classroom also.

Presentation at Solar Forum 11/03 [pdf – large file 5MB – download or opens in new browser] An Integrated approach to Solar Energy Education.

Presentation at Solar Forum 10/02 [pdf – large file 2 MB – download or opens in new browser]

Paper presented at ASES solar Conference Reno, NV June 2002 [500 kB pdf]

Walden West Outdoor Environmental Education School installs PV system and integrates solar curriculum

Womens Solar Design workshop installs PV system at Walden West [Article in Home Power issue #98 Dec. 03] also on Solar e-Clips

Workshop Spring 2003: PV as a Learning Tool

Emery High Solar Mural Project Winter/Spring 2003

SSh in Palo Alto – Ohlone and Gunn Schools

Lincoln Middle School (Alameda) PV installation and curriculum

Alameda’s Solar Education [Solar Schoolhouse project]


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