That’s exactly what SEIA (#Solar #Energy Industries Association) did late last month when two student groups visiting Washington DC were invited to the organization’s headquarters to learn about the benefits, future, and the overall practical uses that future engineers will utilize in the coming decades. On the cutting edge of solar energy, SEIA pulled out all the stops to prove one simple yet powerful point: the future of our planet can look bright if solar energy is at the helm.
The first group was a fifth grade class from Eagle Nest Elementary. Over 55 students made the trek from beautiful Orlando, FL to a rainy week in the nation’s capital to discover what solar energy can do for them. The group undoubtedly learned a lot about solar energy, its future, and the positive impact it can have on our country – and we know they are excited to know that solar energy is just getting started. The students participated in a challenging pop quiz that was not for the faint of heart, with the students that won getting to take home solar kits that can be used to create anything from a robot to a racecar. What fun!
Older yet still blown away by what solar energy will do for them, the second group visiting SEIA came all the way from Arizona State University’s Solar Energy Engineering and Commercialization (SEEC) graduate program. The Professional Science Master’s (PSM) students learn all about the in’s-and-out’s of solar technology, engineering, and even business-rich aspects that a lot of programs typically do not cover (such as solar energy policy). Brandon Audap (Director of Federal Affairs for SEIA) and Dana Sleeper (Director of External Affairs for SEIA) dialogued about certain, recent solar policy campaigns as well as discussing various questions related to their research. Since this is a relatively new degree for not only ASU but the United States as a whole, the answers the students accrued could not have been more valuable.
Two groups over a decade apart in age may not seem like they have a lot in common, but they did on this day. Both groups left the day having a deeper appreciation for what solar energy is and will be doing to improve their lives going forward. While the field will be different if they end up in the same type of solar energy engineering program like the ASU grad student, they will have an advantage over them: gaining a small-yet-crucial foundation for understanding, appreciating, and feeling motivated to preach the gospel of the good news of solar power. Though their age gap is wide, these are our leaders of tomorrow: and if these groups are any indication, there is a hunger and desire to make solar energy the energy source that powers our country and world!