Solar for East: Celebrating the power of the sun, students and the community
By UWCSEA Foundation
Over 150 excited kids, parents and staff climbed up onto the rooftops of East on Saturday, 20 February for the first Solar for East installation.
The morning kicked off with a brilliant presentation from the Solar for East student team, who wowed the audience with their knowledge about solar energy and sustainability. The student ‘supernovas’ explained how over the past two years they had driven this passion project from concept to implementation - an incredible feat of determination and perseverance to make the solar panel project a reality. Thunderous applause ended the presentation and everyone was revved up with excitement to get out onto the rooftops and start laying down panels.
Despite the blistering heat (which we’re ironically so grateful for!) the East community came out in droves to support the event, from the Head of Campus and many Principals and Vice-Principals, teachers as well as students and parents across all school sections. 25 panels (of the 64 panels funded so far) were laid down during the event and there will be plenty more installation events to come. By the end of the morning, all the volunteers were glowing - it was sunbeams and grinning faces all around with a resounding feeling of success - everyone had worked together and achieved so much in just a few hours!
For the student team, this was such a particularly meaningful moment in their time at UWCSEA, to have successfully launched a sustainability initiative that will make a real and tangible difference to the environment. To stand together with a crowd of volunteers from their school community, who had come to support their initiative and help make their solar dreams come true; words cannot express their excitement and meaning. For many, it was a true testament to the power of a UWCSEA education; how students are given the essential skills, knowledge and resources to care for the natural world to become action-driven environmental stewards and leaders.
The solar panel initiative would not have been possible without the many generous donors including the PA East, individuals, over 20 student classes, the Foundation Parent Ambassadors who helped rally the East parent community and the volunteers who gave up their Saturday morning to help lay down the panels. A tremendous thank you for your support - this would not have happened without your passion, enthusiasm and belief in the power of these student changemakers.
Very soon the switch will be flicked on and the power of solar with be lighting up more classrooms - and imaginations. The future is bright!
“The students presented their exciting initiative to the PA Committee last year and we were so moved by their passion, awareness and dedication that we unanimously agreed as a committee to fund the first 26 solar panels. We are so proud of our Solar for East student group and wish them the very best for their project for making East Campus even more sustainable!” Devika Tambe, PA East Boarders' Coordinator and Foundation Parent Ambassador.
"After working for two years on this project, finally seeing it come to reality with the full support of the community was an amazing experience for all of us. We can't wait for our next installation and are endlessly inspired by the proactivity of East Campus in helping us light classrooms and imaginations." Hemal, Grade 10, Chair Solar for East
“This is one of the projects that really makes me believe in the power of education and the UWC missions makes a change in the world. You are an amazing group of motivated, passionate and hard-working kids who have accomplished something great! I hope you are proud of yourselves as much as everyone is of you. Thank you for your inspirational student-led initiative. Hopefully by the time these panels are removed your inspiration will have spread to the world. You are the proactive changemakers we need in the world!” Vera, Scholar, Class of 2019
Collective giving through the UWCSEA Foundation continues to advance the vital UWC mission and enrich the transformational UWCSEA learning experience, in the classroom and beyond. Make a gift today.