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Unique Course Teaches CSUEB Students About the Power of Solar Energy and Giving Back


CSUEB students and faculty pose with the Solar Suitcases they constructed.

  • January 6, 2016

In a partnership with Hayward Promise Neighborhood and We Care Solar, Cal State East Bay is using solar energy education to promote social justice and environmental sustainability at home and abroad.

“We have to do something to help the planet,” CSUEB physics student Sahil Rahimi said. “And we’re doing it here by helping people who lack a necessity of life, electricity. I’m going to continue taking this kind of class if I can.”

In a physics-environmental studies hybrid course piloted last quarter, Cal State East Bay students learned about solar energy design for social impact through building stand-alone solar power and lighting systems called "Solar Suitcases." In partnership with the non-profit We Share Solar, the suitcases will be sent to energy-impoverished schools and orphanages in the developing world. The CSUEB students also shared their knowledge in workshops in local low-income middle and high schools within the Hayward Unified School District, inspiring the younger students to higher education, solar careers, and global citizenship. The schools' teachers received training in the curriculum through Cal State East Bay as well, and use it to motivate learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  

“No one else is doing what we’re doing on this multilevel scale that encompasses the entire pipeline,” Professor Karina Garbesi said. 

Read more in the latest Cal State East Bay Magazine

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