Solar Smart Flower offers education for green energy and information technology
The following is the official news release from Industry Saskatchewan announcing the partnerships that have made a solar Smart Flower at Bishop James Mahoney High School possible.
Saskatchewan Announces Funding for Educational Events in the Information Technology and Green Energy Sectors
Today, the Government of Saskatchewan announced a one-time investment of $158,000 from Innovation Saskatchewan and the Ministry of Immigration and Career Training to the Saskatoon Industry Education Council, in partnership with Siemens Canada, to create awareness about careers in the Information Technology (IT) and green energy sectors.
The funding will support the Saskatoon Industry Education Council (SIEC) to host educational events for high school students to help them find a career that connects their passion and natural talents with current and future opportunities in the IT and green energy sectors. The educational component and resources expose students to renewable energy technology and resources, human influence on ecosystems, electricity generation, and IT connectivity.
"Innovation and technology are important drivers of growth and diversification of Saskatchewan's economy," Minister Responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan and Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison said. "This project will provide our high school students with access to clean-tech skills needed to participate in the future of our province's technology sector."
The educational project will work with the Kindergarten to Grade 12 system and use a Microgrid Solar Flower installation to provide students with knowledge that leads to post-secondary and employment opportunities. High school students from the Saskatoon Public Schools, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, Prairie Spirit School Division, and the Saskatoon Tribal Council will be involved in SIEC-hosted events.
"A hands-on opportunity to learn about STEM related career opportunities is a benefit to all students as they realize their future in our province," Education Minister Dustin Duncan said. "The resources provided to teachers will ensure our students are aware of the variety of science-based career opportunities and have the science-based education to realize their full potential."
"The SIEC is pleased to be able to provide opportunities to students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 to learn about career pathways in the green energy sector," SIEC Executive Director Janet Uchacz-Hart said. Access to the Smartflower technology and connecting it to STEM education is a great way to showcase what careers are available now and in the future in Saskatchewan."
Siemens Canada co-developed the Microgrid solution.
"We're proud to co-create such a powerful learning opportunity for students with this solar and battery-powered microgrid," Siemens Canada President and CEO Faisal Kazi said. "Our electricity infrastructure is changing to be more resilient to interruptions and support decarbonization through local generation. We hope this project is the first of many that will stimulate interest and engagement on these changes with students across the province."
The educational events are funded through the Canada-Saskatchewan Labour Market Transfer Agreements. Other contributors to the project include Graham Construction, Humboldt Electric and the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools.