Posted on March 22, 2013

Fresno County: PG&E Funding Solar Panels for School’s Outdoor Science Center

SANGER — Elementary schoolchildren wore “Thank You PG&E” hats today (March 22) as the utility presented a $10,000 Bright Ideas grant to help create an outdoor science center featuring a solar farm.

The school assembly included all 475 students at Madison Elementary, as well as parents, teachers and school district representatives in this Fresno County community.

First graders at Madison Elementary show their appreciation for PG&E's $10,000 Bright Ideas grant. (Photo by Angela Vega.)

Principal Stephanie Rodriguez, who applied for the grant last fall, told Currents that the grant is huge for her school and will fund solar panels that will power one of the school’s classrooms.

Most important, she said, the grant will teach the children about renewable energy.

“To be able to be up close and personal and having people come out and talk to them about the science and math that goes into it, it’s just really exciting,” Rodriguez said. “To them it’s very futuristic and not something they see every day. They love science and so that’s the fun part of it. It’s engaging and it’s learning that’s hands on.”

In addition to Rodriguez and a team from PG&E, those attending the assembly included Matt Navo, deputy superintendent of Sanger Unified School District; James Karle, president of the school district’s board of trustees; and representatives of the Donald P. Dick Solar Company, which will install the solar panels.

After the assembly, the group met at the site of the outdoor science center for a groundbreaking ceremony conducted by the school’s student council.

PG&E’s Bright Ideas program was designed to support the understanding of the energy industry in public schools throughout Northern and Central California. Since the program began in 2005, it has contributed more than $1.8 million to 301 schools throughout PG&E’s service territory. Grants range from $1,000 to $10,000.

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