PHOTOS: Repower Our Schools Teaches Durham Students About Solar

by Carolyn Auwaerter

April 22, 2015

Last week, the Repower Our Schools coalition took the Rolling Sunlight, a solar power demonstration truck, to Durham Public Schools in celebration of Earth month. We talked with over 1200 students across the district about solar energy and the benefits of renewable energy. Here are our favorite photos.

photo by Carolyn Auwaerter

The Rolling Sunlight truck features a 2.4 kW solar array that produces enough power for one average U.S. home or three energy efficient homes.


After sunlight is converted to electrical energy by the solar panels, it’s stored in batteries until we are ready to use it. The inverters are the last step in the power chain. They convert the direct current (DC) electricity from the batteries into alternating current (AC) electricity that most devices use.


Rolling Sunlight - popcorn

We used that electricity to make solar-powered popcorn, and it was a big hit with the kids!

Rolling Sunlight - Kearra

At other stops, students educated their classmates. Here is Kearra, a junior at Southern School of Energy and Sustainability, giving a presentation on solar.

Solar Panel - Neal MS

We also attended a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) career fair at Neal Middle School and discussed jobs in the solar industry. In 2014, North Carolina ranked 2nd in the nation for construction of new solar power, bringing in $1.2 billion in investment, and supporting 3,100 jobs.

Rolling Sunlight - students chalk drawing

We allowed students to channel their creativity by drawing what solar power would look like in their community.

Rolling Sunlight - solar car chalk drawing

Andre, a fifth grader at Hillandale Elementary School, drew a solar-powered car.

Rolling Sunlight - truck chalk drawings

Other students at Shepard Middle School drew solar arrays on top of buildings.

Rolling Sunlight - Southern green club

We also passed around solar chargers for devices like cell phones, so students, like the members of Southern’s green club, could literally hold solar in their hands.

Rolling Sunlight - Mr Rosenberg

Thanks to all the DPS teachers, like Mr. Rosenburg of Rogers-Herr Middle School (pictured center), that helped us bring the Rolling Sunlight to their schools. We had so much fun!

Next up, Charlotte! The Repower Our Schools coalition is taking the solar truck to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, but the public can also join us and the Rolling Sunlight atthe Clean Air 5K and the CROWN festival. Hope to see you there!

Carolyn Auwaerter

By Carolyn Auwaerter

Carolyn Auwaerter is a Field Organizing Manager at Greenpeace USA. She works on climate and renewable energy in the southeast and Greenpeace's Food for Life campaign.

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