Illuminating the future

Inspiring youth through sustainable solar spaces

What is a solar pavilion?

A school solar pavilion is a photovoltaic-enhanced shade structure designed to inspire students as well as the community; it can also function as an outdoor classroom. Our school solar pavilions are designed as innovative centers for schools. Our team is collaborating with the Alhambra Elementary School District (AESD) and the community in order to inspire students to make positive change, create a more sustainable community, and allow the community to have access to photovoltaic technology.

Schools are urgently navigating COVID-19 physical distancing requirements to allow students to return to campus. Our solution is to implement school solar pavilions for safe outdoor learning in a Title I school district in Phoenix, Arizona. This is our way to re-imagine schools in order to reopen safely and equitably (Green Schoolyards America, 2020).


Support our efforts by making a donation for our GoFundMe campaign / Apoye nuestros esfuerzos haciendo una donación para nuestra campaña GoFundMe

Our Pitch.. Learn More?

Watch as you hear the determination in our words.

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Our Mission and Vision

Age and zip code should not dictate who is able to be involved in a sustainable future. Our mission is to create an inspiring and interactive social hub for middle school students in the Alhambra Elementary School District that also focuses on solar innovation. We’ve designed a school solar pavilion that serves multiple purposes.


La edad y el código postal no deben determinar quién puede participar en un futuro sostenible. Nuestra misión es crear un centro social inspirador e interactivo para estudiantes en el Distrito Escolar Primario Alhambra que también se centre en la innovación solar. Hemos diseñado un pabellón solar escolar que sirve para múltiples propósitos.

  • Educate our community about solar technologies/ Educar a nuestra comunidad sobre las tecnologías solares

  • Increase access to solar energy in our community, reducing the electricity load on the school/ Aumentar el acceso de energía solar en nuestra comunidad, reduciendo la carga de electricidad en la escuela

  • Increase involvement in STEAM/ Aumentar la participación en STEAM

  • Spark career exploration/ Estimular la exploración de carreras

  • Give teachers the opportunity to take their classrooms outside!/Dar los maestros la oportunidad de llevar su clases afuera!

  • Inspire students to make a positive change in their local community/Inspirar a los estudiantes a hacer un cambio positivo en su comunidad

  • Support AESD curriculum related to renewable energy/ Apoyar el plan de aprendizaje relacionado con las energías renovables 

Features

Features of the School Solar Pavilion Program will foster physical and mental health and wellness benefits. We will generate clean energy to improve air quality and install a solar-powered water station to help students stay hydrated. We will grow a garden to model healthy eating habits and access to aesthetically beautiful spaces. Research shows gardening can decrease stress levels, release endorphins, keep low blood pressure, and create easier adaptability to surroundings. Barcelona students will create art associated with the pavilion to provide a sense of ownership over the school campus and their community. Finally, shade from the pavilion will not only protect students from extreme heat, but will also create a social space on campus for making friends, holding class or events, or just experiencing something new!

El Programa del Pabellón Solar de nuestra escuela aborda varios elementos de una comunidad saludable: educación, parques y oportunidades recreativas, y seguridad comunitaria. Las características del Programa del Pabellón Solar Escolar ciertamente fomentarán los beneficios de salud y bienestar físico y mental. Generamos energía limpia para mejorar la calidad del aire e instalaremos una estación de agua con energía solar para evitar la posibilidad de insolación y otros problemas de salud de hidratación. Cultivaremos un jardín para modelar hábitos alimenticios saludables y acceso a plantas. La investigación muestra que la jardinería puede disminuir los niveles de estrés, liberar endorfinas, mantener la presión arterial baja y crear una adaptabilidad más fácil al entorno. Los estudiantes de Barcelona crearán arte asociado con el pabellón para proporcionar un sentido de propiedad sobre el campus de la escuela y su comunidad. Finalmente, la sombra del pabellón no solo protegerá a los estudiantes del calor extremo, sino que también creará un espacio social en el campus para hacer amigos, organizar clases o eventos, ¡o simplemente experimentar algo nuevo!

Our Team

From left to right:

  • Jawed Nur attends Bioscience High School and is an alumni of Barcelona Middle School

  • Andrea Estrada attends Apollo High School and is an alumni of Sevilla West Middle School

  • Alyssa Cortez attends Bio Science High School and is an alumni of Barcelona Middle School

  • Diego Ruiz attends Metro Tech High School and is an alumni at Barcelona Middle School

  • Luis Fregoso attends Glenview College Preparatory High School and is an alumni of Barcelona Middle School

Facilitator Contacts

Special Thanks to our Partners

Arizona State University's Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and Fulton College of Engineering, Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies (QESST), The NSF/DOE-funded Solar Energy Engineering Research Center, especially Dr. Michelle Jordan. The AESD staff, especially the continued support of Mia DeLaRosa, Jessica Hauer, Lauren D’Amico, Paige Brill, and Mandi Bilyou. Bioscience High School Staff, especially Milton Johnson, Cory Waxman, and Dr. Holly Batsell.

Furthermore, Sunad Pattaje Sitarama Bhat and Karan Shah, and their mentors from ASU’s Solar Energy Engineering and Commercialization (PSM) program, (especially Ron Roedel),  Urban Energy Solutions (especially John Mitman), for developing the solar shading video based on our design specifications, and Parikhit (Ricky) Sinha from First Solar, Alex Killam, Alex Rothier, Dr. Silvana Ayala, and Dr. Clark Miller from QESST for their mentoring support.

Our Story

We began our journey by participating in AESD STEM activities during our eighth grade year. We were then invited to attend the QESST summer youth program where we learned about photovoltaics and how it relates to our community. After discovering that our community had little access to this affordable renewable energy source, we dedicated ourselves to designing solutions to help combat the issue of lack of solar.  Over the past few years, we have collaborated with hundreds of people, consulting with school and neighborhood stakeholders,  energy engineers, solar installers, city planners, politicians, and environmental specialists. We have presented at public outreach events and research conferences for audiences near and far, including the Photovoltaic Specialists Conference in Hawaii (2018), and Chicago (2019).  We have dedicated ourselves to design solar pavilions to give back to the Alhambra Elementary School District, starting with a solar pavilion planned for the Barcelona School Campus. We remain committed to one one design problem: How might we implement solar pavilions in the Alhambra Elementary School District to inspire underrepresented students?  

"Never doubt that a group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Nuestra Historia

Comenzamos nuestro viaje participando en actividades de STEM durante la secundaria.  Luego nos invitaron a asistir al programa juvenil de verano, QESST en ASU nosotros continuamente participamos durante el verano por cuatro años. A partir de ahí, aprendimos sobre la energía fotovoltaica y cómo se relacionan con nuestra comunidad, así es como el problema con la falta de crecimiento en nuestra comunidad. Con eso, nos enfocamos en soluciones para ayudar a combatir el problema de la falta de energía solar. Con nuestra dedicación, presentamos nuestra idea a más de 100 personas, incluidos ingenieros, urbanistas, investigadores de energía, políticos y especialistas medioambientales. Luego tuvimos la oportunidad de viajar, participar en la Conferencia de Especialistas Fotovoltaicos de Chicago y en Hawai para presentar nuestro proyecto en la categoría de estudiantes de preparatoria. Comenzando en el segundo y tercer año actual, nos hemos enfocado y dedicado al diseño de pabellones solares para al Distrito Escolar Primario de Alhambra. Así que durante los últimos dos años hemos estado comprometidos. Nos hemos mantenido comprometidos con una sola meta de diseño,implementar un pabellones solar o estructura de sombra solar en los distritos Alhambra para inspirar a estudiantes de baja representación.

"Nunca dudes que un grupo de personas comprometidas puede cambiar el mundo. De hecho, es lo único que ha sucedido". - Margaret Mead 

Gallery / Fotografías