Jun. 20, 2022
Sphere Solar | Outreach

Students Explore Solar Careers

By Sphere Solar Energy – Lake City, Seattle/May 2022

Discussion of climate change impacts with Sphere Solar Energy staff (from left to right) Sarah Ali, Edwin Wanji (founder and CEO), and Briannah Risslen

Over 100 students participated in a Solar 101 Career Exploration workshop presented by Sphere Solar Energy as part of a Climate Day of Action at Nathan Hale High School. Students got to see a demonstration of how a solar panel converts the sun’s rays into clean electricity and when the lights went on, the enthusiastic group erupted into cheers and applause.

Then a light bulb went off in one student’s head who saw an opportunity to charge his cellphone. Sphere Solar Energy founder and CEO Edwin Wanji invited him up to connect and power his device with the sun. More applause ensued.

Nathan Hale student uses a multimeter to measure the voltage of a solar panel.

With the imperative to end fossil fuels emissions, the primary cause of the increasingly frequent and intense storms, hurricanes, wildfires, floods and other weather events damaging our communities, there has been a significant growth of jobs in clean energy.

The workshop highlighted the variety of career opportunities in the solar sector including positions as electricians, PV array designers, solar technicians, project managers and business operations staff.

Briannah and Sphere Solar Energy Intern Anna Smalley describe positive and negative current wiring.

One job at Sphere Solar Energy involves performing a site analysis to determine whether solar power is feasible for a residence or business. The students received a quick training on the factors taken into consideration such as shade and roof orientation. Then it was their turn to examine rooftops on a map and do their own site assessment.

They even checked out the roof right over their heads on a map showing their school color coded based on solar potential. After some lively discussion, there was general agreement that Nathan Hale High School would be a suitable candidate for a solar energy system.

Sphere Solar Energy has had terrific interns from Nathan Hale High School in the past and appreciated how many students at the workshop expressed interest in making a difference in solving the climate crisis and gaining more exposure to the solar field. It was inspiring to spend the day with these budding environmental stewards and bodes well for a future of greater climate stability and better health outcomes in our communities.