Gas South and D.C.-based solar developer Sol Systems announce a new partnership to fund renewable energy education and deploy a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) implementation program focused on schools in underserved communities in Georgia.
Gas South and Sol Systems will contribute nearly $300,000 to two partners: Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) and KidWind, an international leader in clean energy education. The funding enables schools to develop renewable energy-specific learning tools and resources, train teachers, engage students, and work toward becoming STEM certified.
“Cultivating a connection between energy and education matters to us at Gas South. Our new partnership with Sol Systems for a STEM implementation program in underserved communities is a testament to our commitment to a sustainable and equitable future,” said Kevin Greiner, President and CEO of Gas South.
For the first time, the KidWind educator training and curriculum will be available in Georgia to help educators implement renewable energy lessons in their classrooms. As part of the partnership, students will apply their learning to solve real-world problems and participate in student energy competitions.
The funding for these investments is tied to a broader partnership between Sol Systems and Gas South to invest in solar energy projects across America. A portion of the fees generated from the partnership funds this investment and is a result of a commitment to ensure the adoption of clean energy benefit communities in multiple ways. Already, Gas South and Sol Systems have invested $12 million in eight residential community solar projects providing energy to more than 2,600 homes.
“We are proud of our continued work with Gas South to invest in renewable energy and in local communities in tandem,” said Sol Systems Senior Director of Impact, Adaora Ifebigh. “Through investment enabled by renewable energy infrastructure, Gwinnett County Public Schools and KidWind are now better positioned to build the next generation of renewable energy leaders.”
Located in the heart of one of the fastest-growing communities in Georgia, Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) educates 1 in 10 Georgians and is the 11th largest school district in the US, with more than 182,000 students and 25,000 full and part-time employees. GCPS is the largest employer in Gwinnett County and the 4th largest in Metro Atlanta. GCPS is 20% Caucasian, 32% African American, 33% Hispanic, 12% Indian or Asian, and 3% multiethnicity. More than 100,000 GCPS students (over 55%) qualify for Federally funded free and reduced lunch programs.
“Strengthening K-12 STEM education and fostering interest in renewable energy go hand in hand,” said Falicia O’Mard, GCPS K-12 STEM Coordinator. “By providing engaging learning experiences, industry collaborations, and inclusive environments, we can help students apply the Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) to solve real-world problems. This will not only shape a future-ready workforce but also contribute to a more sustainable and equitable society.”
For the first time, the KidWind educator training and curriculum will be available in Georgia to help educators implement renewable energy lessons in their classrooms. Students will apply their learning to solve real-world problems and participate in student energy competitions. This will enhance the learning experience and give students hands-on learning opportunities that will expedite potential career pathways in the solar and renewable energy industry. Student teams will also get the opportunity to participate in the KidWind Challenge, a design and construction celebration that engages students through renewable energy.
“KidWind is excited to bring our expertise to the Atlanta metropolitan area and extend our network and programming to Georgia through this new partnership with Gwinnett County Public Schools. This work supports KidWind’s mission to provide training and resources to build an inclusive clean energy future,” said Michael Arquin, CEO of KidWind Project.