solar panel installation

I've volunteered at the OM Foundation School since 9th grade. It is a non profit school in rural India, attended by orphans and children of low wage workers. Each year, I've worked with the same set of children and have taught them art, coding, english and math, and learned about their backgrounds and goals.

These students are some of the most ambitious people I've ever met - given that it is a rare opportunity for people from their background to attend school, they take advantage of every resource they can. Keen on making a larger impact in their lives, I decided to teach them about solar energy.

I audited a Solar Energy course at Pace University and developed a solar panel system that would power the OM Foundation computer room, incorporating aspects like pollution levels and sun exposure. I had everything shipped from the US, had a battery or two confiscated by customs along the way, and eventually had the opportunity to install the solar panels on the roof of this incredible school.

I spent a week teaching the students about solar energy and subsequently had them project how many solar panels would be needed to power the entire school. Each group strived to construct the most efficient installation for the school and came up with really innovative methods for handling the school's power supply.

When I visited the next year, this was hanging in the computer room.

When I visited the next year, this was hanging in the computer room.

Designing a curriculum that transcended the school agenda for these children was an incredible opportunity. I have since focused on exposing them to as much as I can and in subsequent years have led lessons on areas like app development and pitching to expose them to startups. It was amazing to see the class that I had taught every year since 9th grade go to college last year - each one the first in their families.