Las Malvinas photovoltaic workshops
Working Together for Energy
Why Solar, Why Workshops?
Solar is a great resource because it is abundant and everyday the sun is shining. Those qualities make it very widely used amongst many organizations that want communities with little exposure to the technology to become independent. The only down fall is that the system components are expensive and for the system to be successful there needs to be someone knowledgeable on solar power to maintain it. That is why it is important to host workshops so communities that are having solar energy systems installed, have an understanding of the components and their functions. This increases the longevity of the system and builds a stronger resilient community that can truly become independent. When the workshops are over and the system is installed, what will be left behind is knowledge amongst friends and family who can share their knowledge on Solar across the communties.
Developing a Workshop Together
- Research other workshops or lesson plans to be familiar with the content that should be presented.
- When gathering topics that should be discussed, its important to bring into account the level of previous education amongst the community. Some may be more skilled than others at math or some may not be as good of readers. Also bring into account you could have a wide variety of students from children to adults.
- Try to present material in a variety of techniques that will accompany a variety of learning styles, whether its visual, auditory, or hands on learners.
- Have a lot of interaction with the students.
- Remember its an exchange of knowledge and you are just presenting the knowledge that already exists but it will be an equal contribution from both informer and student.
- Once you've done your part, its there turn to take that material and make something out of it.
- We aren't experts, so there will come an amazing point where you will be learning together.
Las Malvinas, Botica Example
For the botica, the workshops that were organized, presented the basic materials on system components, what they do, and ways to wire. There were two pre-planning community workshops. In the pre-planning workshops the community decided what type of workshops they would like. Then there were two workshops, a day of hands on wiring of the system, and the final day was the complete installation of the system. The second day involved a lab that was a hands on representaton of what we learned the first day. At the end of the second day, together the community sized the system based off of what they learned from the couple workshops and their energy needs. We all came back a few days later and started the wiring. Because of the workshops the students weren't students any more, they became the teachers to friends and families explaining and sharing the wiring process. The following day, the construction went the same way and the solar energy system was successfully installed, delivering power to the botica.