When Aaron Sebens started talking about renewable energy with his fourth grade class, they kept coming back to their excitement about solar power and making it a more hands-on learning experience. How might they move away from fossil fuels and make their own clean energy?

Thanks to their ambitious teacher, help from parents, and a Kickstarter campaign that was funded seven times over, the students were able to make their Durham, North Carolina classroom completely solar powered.

From their 2013 Kickstarter:

Did you know that every minute enough photons come down to earth from the sun to power our world for a year? And have you ever wanted to save money, electricity and have less pollution? Well that is our goal. We believe in the sun and would like to fundraise to get enough money to buy solar panels for our classroom so we do not have to use any electricity from the power plant. We have been doing research on how much electricity we use to power our classroom so we know how many solar panels we need, and how much money it will cost. We will figure out how how to design and build a solar array, and with help we can make our classroom off the grid. We’re really excited about teaching others in our school and community about the power of solar energy.

Inspiring! Read more about their project at Kickstarter and Energy.gov.

Related making at Instructables: Planning a Solar Array (Beginner’s Guide).

Related watching: How Gardening at School Enables Interdisciplinary Learning, Moser Lamps: 60 watts of free, natural light and how to build a solar oven.

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