AISD to install solar outdoor classrooms

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by JESSICA VESS / KVUE News

Bio | Email | Follow: @JessicaV_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on May 14, 2010 at 11:47 AM

Updated Friday, May 14 at 1:01 PM

The Austin Independent School District is bringing lessons to life.  A new project approved by the Austin City Council on Thursday will bring solar panel classrooms to 21 campuses in the district.

The full plan was unveiled Friday morning at the LBJ High School gymnasium.

Austin Energy and Austin ISD posted depictions of the outdoor learning centers on cardboard displays showing a three-walled room with solar panels installed on the roof top.

The project is funded in part through a $375,000 federal grant awarded to Austin Energy. They in turn shared it with the school district.

"The educational side of this is critically important to our customers when they become adults who use electricity, understanding what their options are," said Karl Rabago, Austin Energy.

The campuses that will receive the solar outdoor classrooms will be mostly middle and high schools.

"It will open our eyes because some of they say they don't really care or some of them they're like 'I don't even know what that is,’" said Adriana Chavez, LBJ High School.

A final list of the exact schools hasn't been confirmed, but Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell said the construction on the first solar classroom will begin later this year.

Each learning center will have fully functional solar panels to allow for interactive lessons on solar energy and other science concepts.

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