Posted: Jun 6, 2011 10:20 PM by Allyson Weller (KPAX News)
Updated: Jun 7, 2011 8:02 AM
STEVENSVILLE- Lone Rock School has installed solar panels, not only save on their monthly energy bill, but to give students hands on experience with the technology.
The solar panels have only been up on the roof for two months, but they've already saved Lone Rock two full school days of energy.
"I'm just going to say that they're awesome to use, if you ever have the chance, if you just want to quit paying the mortgage bills, for the gas prices and electric bills, just switch to a solar panel," sixth grade student Matthew Cowan said.
"It powers our electricity and our bathrooms, and just about everything in the school" added fellow sixth grader Alex Shepherd.
The sixth grade students we talked with are learning about solar energy.
"I think they love anything new as long as it's new and different, they like that,"Lone Rock School Superintendent David Cluff explained.
Lone Rock hasn't started teaching the curriculum yet, but already kids are catching on to what the panels do, and how they're helping the environment.
"Saving the environment from all the coal burning and pollution," Garrett Cleveland commented.
"We don't have to use anymore of the gasoline, the coal, pretty much all we need is the sun which will be shining quite a bit," sixth grade student Richard Malachnski said.
The students, including Shepher, are also thinking about the panels long term. "It might help me in the future, it might get me a job."
"I think in the future I will have solar panels on my own house because I don't want to have to throw cash out of my pocket to pay for the electric bill," Cowan said.
The $24,000 project was made possible with the help of the Ravalli Electric Co-op, Bonneville Environmental Foundation, Lone Rock School and Sunelco Solar.
"I'm very impressed, they've had this system for two months now and those kids really know their stuff. It's good to see young people admiring the same things I admire at my age,"Sunelco Solar President Tom Bishop commented.
The students all say they're excited to learn more about the solar panels when school starts again in the fall.