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During the week of June 22nd, 2020, 16 educators from across the state joined Pacific Education Institute staff and faculty online to write solutions oriented storylines on solar energy, for first and fourth grades and middle and high school. The goal was to create developmentally appropriate climate science storylines, facilitate PEI workshops on this topic during the 20-21 school year and share on the OER Washington Commons.

Megan Rivard, PEI Central Washington FieldSTEM Coordinator, explaining the NGSS using a cake model

Educators had the opportunity to learn from Olympia Community Solar’s Ari Simmons and Katrina Taylor about solar science, community solar projects, renewable energy policy and social justice issues about solar energy access. Educators also gained knowledge of local tribal stories and storytelling from Itsa Shash; Itsa shared stories of the sun, energy, and life systems.

Participants listening to a presentation from Olympia Community Solar

This storyline workshop viewed solar energy through the lens of climate science solutions and instructional best practices — including teacher professional development, tribal, rural, bilingual/migrant education, and distance learning strategies. Discussions focused on how to link renewable energy science education with local questions, problems, issues, and opportunities that will engage students who have historically been under- served in science by integrating subjects around highly relevant content.