Schott’s Solar In A Suitcase For Schools

Germany may no longer be a world solar superpower in terms of panel manufacture and export, but its citizens and corporations can always lay claim to an intellectual monopoly on renewable energy values. 
 
An example of this social and environmental sensibility is a program launched by Schott Solar to make solar energy available in German classrooms in the form of “solar suitcases,” experimental kits that allow school kids to carry out practical experiments with solar power. 
 
Each suitcase will contain several small solar panels, solar lighting units, components for physical experiments, and a CD which will let students carry out virtual experiments via a computer.
 
Schott says that in light of an obvious need to educate young people in the skills they need to create a sustainable future, it makes sense to give them an early introduction to renewable energies like solar technology. 
 
Andreas Pysik, a physics teacher at the Gonsenheim academic secondary school in Mainz, said his students responded well to the solar kit. 
 
“The response to the experimental suitcase has been, and is, very positive,” Mr Pysik said. “Sometimes there are little eureka moments, such as when a student discovers: Oh yes, it works like a battery!” 
 
Schott’s solar suitcase was originally developed for teaching trainee solar electricians. Schott hopes the modified classroom version will be more engaging for high school students, with a solar-powered electric engine powered by solar panels which can lift weights. 
 
The experiment set will make its public debut at the annual conference of the German Association for the Promotion of Mathematics and Science Teaching in Mainz, Germany.