The Solar Academy is a free environmental education program from Sharp Electronics Corporation. Sharp staff volunteers visit elementary school classes to give an interactive lesson on climate change, renewable energy, energy conservation and the science of solar. It was designed in collaboration with teachers, an educational non-profit organization, and engineers.
- 4th-5th grade level (can accommodate 3rd to 6th grade levels)
- 45 min lesson
- Provide demonstrations for a unique learning experience
- Volunteers-Staff who have knowledge of the solar/renewable energy industry
- Topics: Climate change, renewable energy, the science of solar, and energy conservation
- Lessons: Meet the science framework for California public schools 4th grade, section 1.g.
The ultimate goal of the program is to empower students to make eco-conscious decisions.
If the Solar Academy has already visited your classroom, we hope the students enjoyed the lesson and will continue to learn more about these subjects on their own. We have provided activity booklets which review the lesson and we also encourage the students to use our website to learn more and ask questions.
Watch a video about the Sharp Solar Academy
Where does Sharp offer Solar Academy classes?
The Solar Academy classes are offered in the following areas:
How Can I Schedule a Speaker?
To schedule a speaker, please go to the Contact Us page, and fill out a visit request form. Sharp has a limited number of schools we can visit a year and these schools are selected on a first-come first-serve basis. In the near future we hope to expand our geographic reach.
Does your material meet state standards?
Yes, it meets the Science Framework for California Public Schools 4th grade, section 1.g
Why is Sharp running the Solar Academy?
Being an environmentally advanced company is part of our corporate DNA. Our portfolio consists of energy-saving and energy-creating products, but we also strive to be an environmental steward through initiatives such as solar cell production, green factories, energy-saving LCD TVs and LCD TV recycling programs.
Along with technology, we view education as a core component of our environmental stewardship. The embodiment of this is Solar Academy; a world wide environmental educational program where Sharp staff volunteer to teach kids about ways they can make the world a better place.
Do you try to sell solar to the students and/or their parents?
No. Sharp established the Solar Academy because we have made a commitment to environmental stewardship, and along with technology, we view education as a core component to change. The purpose of the Academy is to teach kids so that they are empowered to make a difference and create a healthier planet. Our lesson plans cover climate change, renewable energy, the science of solar, and energy conservation.
How is Sharp qualified to teach students on the environment?
Sharp has a strong history of environmental and sustainable operations. In addition to producing energy-creating products (like solar cells) and energy-saving products (like LCD TVs), many of our business and manufacturing processes are also environmentally advanced. Sharp feels that education is one of the key drivers toward creating a sustainable and eco-minded society.
The Solar Academy lessons were developed in consultation with teachers and an educational non-profit. All staff volunteers are trained before entering the classroom.
Who teaches the program?
The Solar Academy is taught by volunteers from various departments within Sharp, who have chosen to participate because they are passionate about the environment, renewable energy and building a better future. Each volunteer has gone through a training process on topics and teaching.
Why is the presentation so heavily weighed toward solar?
Sharp is a solar company and that is where we can provide the most expertise for the students. However, the presentation also highlights other forms of non-renewable and renewable energy, as well as climate change, and ways to conserve energy. We are experts in solar, but we believe many forms of renewable and non-renewable energy will make up the world’s energy portfolio.
How long has Sharp been running this program?
The US version began in the fall of 2008 and has held lessons in California, New Jersey and New York. Sharp has run a similar program in Japan for the last 4 years. Japanese staff visit over 500 schools a year, and the program has been awarded by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources.
Do you have educational materials I can share with my class or child? How can I teach my students or children about solar or renewable energy?
The Sharp Solar Academy Workbook is a colorful and fun publication that each participating student receives at the end of the Solar Academy class. It contains lots of the same material that is covered in the Solar Academy presentation and is a useful tool in building awareness and illustrating the lessons covered in the class. Click here to download the online version of the workbook.
We will at some point in the future make the actual Solar Academy powerpoint presentation available online.
What should the students know before they participant in the class? Is there any prerequisite material we should have already covered?
No, students do not need to prep for the visit. Several schools have invited us to speak after they did a chapter or section on environmental/energy issues. This enabled the kids to gain a deeper understanding of the material. But it is not necessary.