Solar panels offer lesson in determination for Carrboro middle schoolers
Posted February 6, 2015
Carrboro, N.C. — With the sun shining brightly outside McDougle Middle School in Carrboro, it’s a good day to learn about solar energy.
Science teacher Ruben Giral has a big teaching tool in the front yard - a four-panel solar array.
Science teacher Ruben Giral has a big teaching tool in the front yard - a four-panel solar array that gives students more than just a lesson in science. It has also taught them how to get things done.
“It started with a lesson in sustainability,” Giral said. “I was asking the kids, ‘Why don't we have something like this here in Carrboro?’”
The students decided to take action and wrote letters to the Carrboro Town Council. They also helped raise $8,000 through an Indiegogo campaign and a bake sale.
Eighth-grader Megan Zelasky was thrilled when the panels arrived in October.
“It was just the most incredible feeling,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, it's finally here in Carrboro.’”
The panels generate electricity that goes directly into the school. Zelasky hopes they also generate a sense of responsibility about the environment.
“We only get one planet, and I think we should work to make it a better place,” she said.
Giral couldn’t be more proud of his students.
“If we're going help this planet continue, we need more kids just like them,” he said. “And they're doing it, they're showing us you can do it.”
Three schools in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools now have solar electricity, and six schools are using solar energy to heat water to use in the kitchen.