GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic joined Constellation Energy and The National Energy Education (NEED) Project to educate a group of high school students from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School about possible job opportunities in the clean energy field.
During the event, students were divided into different workshops organized by Constellation Energy, NEED, and GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic. Anthony Allard, the engineering teacher for 9th to 12th graders, had his students join GRID to complete a mock solar installation in the school’s hallway. Mr. Allard shared, “It’s not everyday where we have demonstrations or job training learning opportunities at our school. I hope that out of today, my students get excited about solar, renewable energy, and the different trade in this field that they can pursue after they graduate.”
"GRID uses the job training model to do the solar installations," explained Nicole Steele, the Executive Director of GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic. GRID Alternatives has a solar education program called Solar Futures, a K-14 program that invites students to learn more about solar and experience the different career opportunities involving solar, whether in the field or the office. GRID has already invited 6 students from Dunbar to GRID’s office for a shadow day, where they joined staff in the office to learn about the different departmental roles.
The four-story high school, which enrolls 628 students, made green building history in 2015 when it received the highest rated LEED Platinum score for a school project in the country. As a leader in sustainable design and construction, Zach Dobelbower, Associate Director of Sustainability and Energy from the Department of General Services extolled, “Dunbar may be one of the greenest school in the planet.” The school reuses collected rainwater to reduce water usage by 50%, incorporates the use of renewable energies like geothermal, and hosts the largest solar panel array on a single building in the District. Zach concluded, “We hope this provides a platform for you all to excel and have incredible careers in engineering and the sciences and to make a difference so that we can heal our planet.”