Solar panels power learning
Advanced environmental science students pose for a photo on Rogers Terrace overlooking the solar panels they have been learni

Upper School advanced environmental science students embarked on their most energy-efficient field trip yet – to the roof of the new Boehly Upper School, where they are studying solar energy up close. 

Upper School Science Teacher Chris Ros wanted his students to understand the entire process of manufacturing, installing, and utilizing solar panels. 

"We started with some research and figuring out how it all works, how they’re made, and the financial benefits that you can have from using solar panels,” said Ros. “And since the solar panels were literally being put in right on our roof, we could go up there and see what was happening. I definitely wanted to take advantage of that.” 

“Seeing real-world applications of environmental science only enhances my interest in the field,” said Milan ‘25. “I intend to become an environmental lawyer, so experiencing environmental matters first-hand is extremely helpful.” 

Students watched as the panels were installed above the Brooke and Rosemary Seawell STEM Center and learned even more from the team handling the installation. 

A crew works to install the solar panels on the roof of the new Boehly Upper School.

“They explained how they install the solar panels, why they're putting them in a certain way, why on that side, why at that angle, and so on. And then a little bit too about how it works from an electrical perspective,” said Ros. 

“You can find a lot of information online, but being able to talk it through with the people who were installing it, you get a lot of insight into the thought process of something that feels a bit distant when you’re looking at it through a computer,” added Deji ’24. 

Landon’s campus affords numerous opportunities for students to study environmental science. Ros is planning future lessons that include learning about the newly installed drainage systems, studying the impact of the trees on campus, and collaborating with Coakley & Williams Construction again for a material science lesson on concrete. 

“Having a campus that serves as a teaching tool is great, as hands-on learning further engages me and piques my interest,” said Milan. “Being able to witness solar panel installation adds a whole new dimension and ease to our learning. We need not try to imagine the process anymore - it's right there in front of us!” 

Milan, Deji, and their classmates have prepared a presentation and are looking for an opportunity to share their solar energy experience with the rest of the student body. 

“It would be a fun thing to do, and I think it would be really helpful too for other students to learn that we do have solar panels on campus and to learn a little more about them and what they do,” said Deji ’24. 

"I do want them to get excited about it,” Ros said. “I don't expect them to go into the field [of environmental science], but perhaps they always have it as part of what they're doing. There's not one field out there that isn’t impacted by, or does not impact, the environment.” 

Advanced environmental science student discuss solar energy

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