OTSEGO, Mich. — Students, some in Halloween costumes, braved a cold October morning to stand under solar arrays, which they could be learning about in the spring.
On Oct. 29, 2020, Otsego Public Schools and Sun FundED, an education services company out of Indiana, held a groundbreaking ceremony and demonstration of their upcoming SAMI program.
The SAMI experience focused on sustainability, academics, marketplace and innovation. It will use interactive kiosks, a movable solar array and a web-based platform to teach students about solar energy.
The program should be available to students in the spring and was intended for students from kindergarten to 12th grade
Otsego public schools superintendent Jeff Haase said it could help gets students interested in solar energy and could save the district $5 million in energy costs.
"It's gonna give kids options to look at possible futures or possible post-secondary education with renewable and sustainable energy," Haase said.
The SAMI Experience will be the first program of it's kind in Michigan.
Sun FundED helps position Otsego as a leader in classroom programming for energy, engineering, solar power and sustainability, while laying a solid foundation for new educational opportunities for students to meet the demands of a growing and changing energy industry in Michigan and across the country,” says Kelly Hipskind, Co-Founder of Sun FundED.
In addition to the SAMI Experience, Sun FundED also donated $400,000 to the Otsego Public School's Foundation.