By Bill Resch
In Columbus, Ohio, New Albany High School students and teachers have created an “off grid” solar powered nature preserve trail lighting system using Solar Panels donated by American Electric Power (AEP).
Twelfth grade student Student Samantha Lustigâ€™s Senior Community Service Project included teaching approximately 250 students, in twelve physics classes, about solar energy concepts and applications. The students helped with site preparation, installation, and connection of the solar powered trail lights. In addition to assembling and wiring the lights, sophomore students dug a trench for the underground wiring. The 30 trail light posts are spaced over 360 feet, beginning at the student-assembled 1 kilowatt Solar Panel, and running through the schoolâ€™s wetland preserve, ending at the Band and sports practice field.
The light posts line the trail and allow students and local residents to walk safely to and from sporting events and through the nature preserve at times when daylight is dim in the early mornings and at dusk when wildlife may be more visible. The concepts of â€œEnergy Transferâ€ and â€œConservation of Energyâ€ through our Solar Energy Project are now a permanent of the school districtâ€™s physical science K-12 curriculum.