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Solar education in Mount Airy City Schools

The following is a press release:

Eighth grade students in the Mt. Airy City School system will learn that knowledge is power during their exploration into solar voltaic systems and how they produce electricity. O2 emc has partnered with the Mount Airy City School system, providing grant funding for an in depth study of solar electricity through O2 emc’s SiSTEM program which stands for Solar integrated Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

During a comprehensive week of Solar Energy education, organized by Kelly Johnson of the Mount Airy City School System, students will study the economic and environmental implications associated with the various methods of obtaining, managing and using energy resources.

“Mount Airy City Schools is very excited about our partnership with O2 emc.  We look forward to working with them in creating real world experiences that will expand students’ knowledge of solar energy.” Kelly Johnson, SiSTEM coordinator for Mount Airy City Schools.

O2 energies, an affiliate of O2 emc, owns and operates two solar farms in Mount Airy, North Carolina, that generate enough electricity to power 750 average homes every year.  The Mount Airy City Schools have designed an Expeditionary Learning curriculum that teaches students about the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math of Solar energy generation. On March 15th, students and their parents will visit O2’s solar farms located in Mount Airy located beside the city waste water treatment plant, and a local quarry operation.

“O2 emc has been honored to be a long term member of the community in Mount Airy. We are happy to have the chance to give back and help the next generation learn about how energy is generated, distributed and consumed in our state.”  said O2 emc CEO Joel Olsen.

When students return to the classroom, they will apply their knowledge following their visit through experiences using materials funded by the grant. The materials, curriculum, and field trip to actual solar farms will help the students and their teachers gain a deeper understanding of how solar technology and the electrical grid in general works.

David Kidd, a Mount Airy 8th grade science teacher said, “We are excited at Mount Airy Middle School to have the opportunity to expose our students to a real world application of what they are learning in our classrooms. It helps to make the learning more authentic, especially since it is going on right here in Mount Airy.”

For more information, contact:

O2emc; Kelly Hendley; 704-578-0374;

O2 emc and O2 energies are independent power producers who develop, own and operate solar farms in North Carolina and the southeast. O2’s projects are developed to maximize local jobs and local investment while enhancing sustainability and educational opportunities in each project community.

Editor’s Note: O2 energies is a contributor to EdNC.

Alex Granados

Alex Granados was the senior reporter for EducationNC from December 2014-March 2023.