Uploaded by Adam Hall

Million Solar Stars Project Plan (final-small)

A Project Plan
Our Mission
Install solar arrays at 1,000 schools and engage one million students with solar power
Cultivate PK 12 student interests and leadership skills thru experiential STEAM based solar
power learning.
Raise awareness and funding to scale up clean energy solutions at international schools and
Inspire the next brilliant solar champion.
Our Vision
Assemble a coalition of businesses and educational institutions to install solar arrays at 10
schools in 2015 and 1,000 schools by 2025.
Deploy solar energy education at international schools using real world models.
Develop a solar Renewable Energy Credit (REC) program to offset carbon, fund solar array
installations, and save schools money.
Launch an international scale solar design project to empower future scientists, engineers,
artists, and leaders while maximizing solar power usage at participating educational facilities.
Table of Contents
Confidentiality Notice and Disclaimer
Foreword: Reasons for Hope, by Dr. Jane Goodall
Introduction: The Dawn of a Million Solar Stars
An Evolution: Solar Pilot Project to Million Solar Stars
Market Conditions: SAS Prime for Solar
Educational Focus: STEAM Solar Design Challenges
Solar Model Car Lunar Rover
Space Pack with Particular Matter Filtration Unit
Solar Model Crane
Funding and Awareness Campaigns Shine with Creativity
Solar Mohawks Raise Hair and Funds
Guinness World Record Attempt Promotes Solar Power, Launches MSS Program
Background: SAS Ready for Solar
Meet the Million Solar Stars Team
MSS Marketing and Communication Objectives
Project Timeline and Near Term Objectives
A Study of SAS Pudong Electricity Consumption and Costs
Call for Corporate Partnership and Financing
Project Budget Narrative & Tables
Moving Forward and Evaluating Success
Team Demonstrates Success with Other Solar School Projects
A Clear Future for Million Solar Stars
Annotated Bibliography and References
China introduces regional solar tariff zones – PV Tech.pdf
SAS CEA Proposal AG 5 Mar 13 V3[1].pdf
World Bank Sunshine Schools Project Appraisal (Compressed).pdf
Confidentiality Notice and Disclaimer
Readers of Million Solar Stars Project Plan hereby acknowledge that the information provided is
completely confidential and therefore the reader agrees not to disclose anything found in the project
plan without the express written consent of D. Adam Hall.
It is also acknowledged by the reader that the information to be furnished in this project plan is in all
aspects confidential in nature, other than information that is in the public domain through other
means and that any disclosure or use of the same by the reader may cause serious harm and or
damage to Million Solar Stars.
Upon request this project plan document will be immediately returned to D. Adam Hall.
This is a project plan. It does not imply an offer of any securities.
This project plan contains "forward looking" statements, which are any statements that do not relate
strictly to historical facts. The words "anticipate," "believe," "continue," "estimate," "expect,"
"forecast," "goal," "intend," "may," "plan," "project," "will" or similar expressions help identify
forward looking statements. Forward looking statements are subject to a variety of risks,
uncertainties and assumptions, which include, but are not limited to, the risks, uncertainties and
assumptions enumerated in our Forms 10 Q and 10 K as filed with the SEC.
Although we believe our forward looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, current
expectations and projections about future events, we cannot give assurances that such assumptions,
expectations and projections will prove to be correct. Therefore, actual results and outcomes may
differ materially from those expressed in such forward looking statements. We undertake no
obligation to update publicly or to revise any forward looking statements, whether as a result of new
information, future events or otherwise.
Many people have volunteered time, organizational skills, brainpower, and creative ideas to help
launch Million Solar Stars. Thanks to the numerous contributions of Shanghai American School
students, teachers, administrators, parents and community members, Million Solar Stars is poised to
scale up additional educational solar installations at international schools in Shanghai, China and
The project’s initiation would not have been possible without the capable and trusting leadership of
Dr. Jeff Rosen, Karl Poulin, Dr. Kerry Jacobson, Andy Torris, Lindsay Thierry, and Richard Mueller.
Thank you to the teachers and professors who lent expertise, scientific knowledge, artistic ability,
reality checks, and a willingness to receive “Solar Mohawks” to raise awareness and funding for the
project. Special thanks to Jon Nordmeyer, Coke Smith, Dave Cole, Lisa FungKeeFung, Alfred Olivas,
James Manning, Kevin David, Steve Carozza, Michael Saich, Erin Leininger, Barbara Boyer, Tim Boyer,
Ramsey Brookhart, Sarah Digges, Loren Digges, Chris Russell, Kristi Thornbury, Jason Maddock, John
Batcabe, Crystal Batcabe, Jeff Thiessen, Pyong Mun Yun, Todd Sessoms, Lisa Ross, Amy Smith, Alyssa
Wensel, Lou Davey, Ian McCuaig, Elaine Costeira, Ben Regan, Rob Guerten, Bob Gould, Patty
Winpenny, Melissa Francescut, Ron Steffens, Jamison Ervin, and Jason Schmitt.
To the parents and PTSA members making Million Solar Stars shine brighter by way of planning
events, hosting fundraisers, and contributing hours of volunteer time, thank you. Sincere thanks to
Melissa Juszynski, Deb Armstrong, and Tracy Perez Menendez.
To my parents, siblings, wife, children and family, thank you for your support and for being my rock.
Many thanks for the advice of solar industry experts Andrew Gao, Qiao Zhen, Mark Lewis and Spring
Thank you Tori Zwisler, Shanghai Roots & Shoots Board Chair, for your guidance and encouragement,
and Dr. Jane Goodall for your inspiration, wisdom and reasons for hope.
And last, but certainly not least, special thanks to Roots & Shoots student leaders at Shanghai
American School and other schools around the world dedicated to greening our educational
institutions and communities. Your efforts are making a difference. Please keep encouraging your
peers, parents and teachers to reach for the stars. Thanks a million!!!
D. Adam Hall
Foreword: Dr. Jane’s Reasons for Hope
It is easy to be overwhelmed by feelings of
hopelessness as we look around the world. We are
losing species at a terrible rate, the balance of nature
is disturbed, and we are destroying our beautiful
planet. We have fear about water supplies, where
future energy will come from, and most recently, the
developed world has been mired in an economic crisis.
But in spite of all this, I do have hope. And my hope is
based on four factors:
The Human Brain
Firstly, we have at last begun to understand and face
up to the problems that threaten us and the survival
of life on Earth as we know it. Surely we can use our
problem solving abilities, our brains, to find ways to
Jane Goodall greets Million Solar Stars
live in harmony with nature. Many companies have
representative Adam Hall. Photo: Jon Nordmeyer
begun “greening” their operations, and millions of
people worldwide are beginning to realize that each of us has a responsibility to the environment and
our descendants. Everywhere I go, I see people making wiser choices, and more responsible ones.
The Indomitable Human Spirit
My second reason for hope lies in the indomitable nature of the human spirit. There are so many people
who have dreamed seemingly unattainable dreams and, because they never gave up, achieved their
goals against all the odds, or blazed a path along which others could follow. As I travel around the world
I meet so many incredible and amazing human beings. They inspire me. They inspire those around
The Resilience of Nature
My third reason for hope is the incredible resilience of nature. I have visited Nagasaki, site of the second
atomic bomb that ended World War II. Scientists had predicted that nothing could grow there for at
least 30 years. But, amazingly, greenery grew very quickly. One sapling actually managed to survive
the bombing, and today it is a large tree, with great cracks and fissures, all black inside; but that tree
still produces leaves. I carry one of those leaves with me as a powerful symbol of hope. I have seen
such renewals time and again, including animal species brought back from the brink of extinction.
The Determination of Young People
My final reason for hope lies in the tremendous energy, enthusiasm and commitment of young people
around the world. As they find out about the environmental and social problems that are now a part
of their heritage, they want to right the wrongs. Of course they do – they have a vested interest in this
for it will be their world tomorrow. They will be moving into leadership positions, into the workforce,
becoming parents themselves. Young people—when informed and empowered, when they realize that
what they do truly makes a difference—can indeed change the world. We should never underestimate
the power of determined young people.
I meet many young people with shining eyes who want to tell Dr. Jane what they’ve been doing, how
they are making a difference in their communities. Whether it’s something simple like recycling or
collecting trash, or something that requires a lot of effort, like restoring a wetland or prairie, or whether
it’s raising money for the local dog shelter, they are a continual source of inspiration. My greatest
reason for hope is the spirit and determination of young people; once they know what the problems
are and have the tools to take action, they can achieve so much.
Million Solar Stars
With Shanghai Roots & Shoots student leadership and inspiration from the Million Tree Project, the
Million Solar Stars initiative is helping bring clean energy to education through the determination and
shining spirit of our youth. Million Solar Stars provides rays of hope as it aims to expand solar power
education in schools. As we aspire to educate our students with ever important science, technology,
engineering, art, and math (STEAM) lessons, and while we diversify curricula with real life, project
based learning and Education for Sustainability, wisdom would say, “Look to the spirit, belief, and hope
of our youth, and engage creative young minds to help solve global issues.”
So let’s move forward in this new millennium with hope, for without it all we can do is eat and drink the
last of our resources as we watch our planet slowly die. Let’s have faith in ourselves, in our intellect, in
our staunch spirit and in our young people. And let’s do the work that needs to be done, with love and
Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE
Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots is the youth led community action and learning program of the Jane Goodall Institute. The program builds on
the legacy and vision of Dr. Jane Goodall to place the power and responsibility for creating community based solutions to big challenges in the
hands of the young people. Through the program, young people map their community to identify specific challenges their neighborhoods
face. From there, they prioritize the problems, develop a plan for a solution, and take action.
Introduction: The Dawn of A Million Solar Stars
The solar power industry has achieved impressive growth over the last several years due to efficiency
gains, significant cost reductions, policy support, and new ways of financing solar energy systems.
Although the photovoltaic (PV) industry is on the tail end of a manufacturing consolidation phase, solar
is poised for rapid advancement. Significant drivers for solar power demand include improving
economics, incentives for clean energy, solar PV’s efficiency in relation to reducing carbon emissions
and water consumption, and an expanding global appetite for electrical power. Combined with
projections for substantial solar market growth in the coming years, and the call for greater focus on
science, technology, engineering, art and math in schools, the time is right for solar power in education.
From Idea to Initiative
The culmination of coursework at Green Mountain College in Vermont, two successful educational solar
installations in Colorado, and a teaching position with Roots & Shoots in China eventually gave rise to
the founding of an initiative called Million
Solar Stars. Over 2012 2014, students, faculty
and community members of Shanghai
American School (SAS) designed the program
to develop clean energy and 21st Century
lessons in schools, and to inspire the next
brilliant solar champion.
Ultimately, Million Solar Stars seeks to spur the
installation of solar PV arrays at 1,000 schools
and engage one million students with solar
power education.
The program embraces high profile events to
both awareness and funding for solar
Students raise awareness and donations for the Sun Fund
power projects. The initiative has gained
at the SAS Fall Carnival, October 2013.
widespread support and raised money
through various unique, student led efforts for the project’s “Sun Fund,” the primary operating budget.
In its inaugural year, Million Solar Stars raised over $18,300, which effectively jumpstarted the initiative
and enabled the installation of a 4kW pilot solar array complemented by LeadSolar monitoring
software. During the upcoming 2014 2015 school year, students will source a touch screen monitor to
display and track solar energy production in a visible area of the school. The monitor will provide real
time and historic energy, carbon offset, and economic data while helping to continue to raise awareness
for the project.
A Path of Leadership for Students
This Million Solar Stars initiative provides a foundation for student leadership and real life interactive
solar education. Roots & Shoots and International Baccalaureate (IB) students have helped guide each
stage of the project including researching,
marketing, planning, meeting with contractors,
and assessing potential pilot array rooftop sites.
During reflections at the end of the 2014 spring
semester, the class of ten middle school Roots &
Shoots students attributed their successes to
working effectively as a team. They cited
opportunities for improvement with planning and
organization, but students were proud of their
awareness campaigns, fundraising success, and
the resulting installation of the 4kW solar array
visible from the front entrance of the school.
Industry and Community Alliances
Due to the initial success of Million Solar Stars and
favorable investment conditions, China based
Middle school Roots & Shoots students celebrating
teamwork and their 4 kW solar installation.
solar companies Clean Energy Associates (CEA)
and HITEKE presented SAS with a Memorandum
of Understanding (MOU) proposing a 300kW solar system for the school’s Pudong campus, and a 500kW
system for SAS’s Puxi campus, at no cost to the school. The arrays would produce an estimated 10% of
SAS’s annual electricity needs with panels covering the majority of the school’s southern facing
rooftops. Roots & Shoots and IB students are currently studying the economic advantages and
drawbacks of leasing versus purchasing through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). CEA and HITEKE
are committed to expanding solar power at SAS and on additional school rooftops in Shanghai and
around China with the Million Solar Stars initiative.
The Benefit to Schools
Students will continue their leadership roles with Million Solar Stars as they present to administrators
and the SAS Board in the fall of 2014. Their presentation will summarize accomplishments to date and
Students are currently
studying the economic
and environmental
advantages of solar
energy including
thousands of tons of
carbon dioxide saved and
millions of gallons saved
in water.
Data Source: Environmental Leader NREL
Data Source: IOP Science
highlight the opportunity to expand the school’s solar power capacity with HITEKE’s leasing or
purchasing options. Under a leasing arrangement SAS is projected to save over $10,000 per year with
solar rebates from the state owned utility and decreased electrical power usage from the grid. In
addition, SAS would improve its environmental performance by offsetting over 15,000 tons of carbon
dioxide while saving over 15 million gallons of water over the expected lifespan of the solar array.
The $1 million investment has a projected 9 year return of investment and a 10% annual return for 25
years. If SAS purchases the proposed 300kW and 500kW solar arrays, the school will realize an
estimated savings of $100,000 in electricity costs per year that could benefit the school’s annual fund.
Students have suggested designating these funds for solar and clean energy science, technology,
engineering, art, and math (STEAM) education projects.
Roots & Shoots students aim to expand their efforts by raising awareness for additional Shanghai
schools and businesses to go solar with Million Solar Stars. As a community service learning
component, SAS students plan to raise funds for purchasing and installing a 2.5kW pilot solar array for
an underserved school during the 2014 15 school year. Additionally, HITEKE will install a 2.5kW pilot
solar array at qualifying schools for every 1MW of solar capacity installed at businesses through Million
Solar Stars referrals. In other words, if a company has suitable rooftop space and purchases or leases a
10MW solar system, 10 schools will receive 2.5kW solar arrays coupled with educational monitoring
In order to qualify for a 2.5kW pilot solar array, schools need an appropriate installation site and at least
one student or faculty member must take the Million Solar Stars pledge:
1. Create and share my own solar powered science, technology, engineering, art, or
math project over the Million Solar Stars blog.
2. Help organize Junior Solar Sprint lessons, or study the potential to scale up solar
energy at my school.
3. Refer another school to apply for a pilot or large scale solar array through Million
Solar Stars.
School ____________________
Name _____________________
Signature __________________
Pledge ensures leadership accountability at student and/or faculty level for pilot sized solar array at any
participating schools
Solar Picks Up STEAM
There are excellent opportunities for 21st Century STEAM learning in schools. Clearly, the solar industry
and educational organizations would benefit from further developing hands on, interactive solar power
lessons that bring solar technology into classrooms and learning labs. There is opportunity to develop
solar powered models, educational rooftop solar arrays, and software that leverages clean energy
lessons and ties energy production and consumption data into real world learning in our schools. Well
thought out, hands on, solar power projects are engaging and spark inquisitive thinking, creativity,
wonderment, and drive for problem solving among youth.
Solar lessons naturally integrate with science, technology, engineering, art, and math curriculum, and
satisfy Common Core and NextGen Science Standards. Monitoring software, like Enphase Enlighten or
the LeadSolar platform at SAS, displays historic and real time environmental, economic, and
educational data. As schools, companies, and financial institutions realize economic benefits from solar
power, for instance, projected as a 10% annual return in Shanghai, it’s reasonable to suggest a
percentage of economic benefit should be reinvested into STEAM solar programs. This reinvestment
will help diversify and refine interactive clean energy lessons while scaling up learning at the ever
important solar education nexus.
The recent announcement and success of the Sunshine Schools program in Beijing is a positive indicator
of scaling up solar energy education. Sunshine Schools will supply 100MW of solar power to 1,000
schools in Beijing and is projected to reach over 2 million students. There is considerable potential for
a similar program in Shanghai as the city’s municipal government recently finalized solar feed in tariffs
designed to significantly increase demand for solar power on built structures. By working with CEA,
HITEKE, Shanghai Roots & Shoots, Chinese schools, corporate partners, and the Chinese Government,
Million Solar Stars aims to initiate a program similar to Sunshine Schools, and perhaps complementary
to it.
Million Solar Stars Parallels Million Tree Project
Million Solar Stars provides a case model for schools to go solar and incorporate solar power into
student learning. In addition to facilitating pilot scale purchases or large scale leasing agreements for
qualified schools, the project aims to develop carbon offset and corporate partnership opportunities
modeled after the Shanghai Roots & Shoots’ Million Tree Project (MTP).
In 2012, with dozens of participating schools, robust corporate sponsorship, Chinese government buy
in, and through the work of thousands of volunteers with rolled up sleeves and shovels in hand, MTP
successfully planted its millionth tree in Inner Mongolia. This innovative Shanghai Roots & Shoot project
is now well on its way to planting over two million trees. Similarly, Million Solar Stars seeks to accelerate
the proliferation of solar power at schools with corporate partners and government buy in. The project
aims to gain formal endorsements from Shanghai Roots & Shoots, the American Chamber of Commerce,
The Association of China and Mongolia International Schools, and the Shanghai Municipal Education
Commission to help convey the message regarding this exceptional opportunity for businesses to help
schools go solar.
The initiative aims to facilitate 10 smaller educational solar installations in 2015, and 1,000 larger solar
school installations by 2025 to help reach one million K 12 students with STEAM based solar power
An Evolution: Pilot Project to Million Solar Stars Mission
In the spring of 2013, Shanghai American School (SAS) Roots & Shoots launched a Pilot Solar Project in
response to strong student interest and opportunities in the marketplace. SAS students have distinct
technical, analytical, language and presentation skills useful in implementing 21st Century clean energy
solutions in their community. The project was
designed to cultivate student leadership skills,
address urban air quality issues, align the SAS core
values with solar power market readiness and
capitalize on recently implemented solar energy
Since the pilot project’s inception, the program has
gained widespread support. During the 2013 14
school year students rebranded the Pilot Solar
Project to Million Solar Students, and then
ultimately settled on Million Solar Stars. From the
project’s inception, students, faculty, parents, and
SAS community members have welcomed the
concept of educational solar power to:
Enhance science, technology, engineering,
art, and math STEAM based lessons
Increase clean energy usage at Shanghai
American School
Reduce school energy and operating costs
Serve as an educational solar power model
for replication at other schools
One of the first posters created for the program
and designed by an SAS graphic art student.
Million Solar Stars has raised over $18,300 through PK 12 bake sales, student led “Sun Fund” benefit
concerts, “Solar Mohawk” events, PTSA sponsorship, and a generous “Edge 4 Excellence” grant.
Students have helped research, market, create presentations, analyze site locations, and fundraise to
purchase and install a 4kW pilot solar array at SAS’s Pudong campus. Installation of the system was
completed in May of 2014.
The 4kW educational solar array is accompanied by web based LeadSolar monitoring software that
enables data analysis for STEAM based lessons. Students will monitor and assess solar panel efficiency
through various conditions and test parameters. In addition to providing renewable energy hardware
and software, Million Solar Stars aims to source and develop STEAM based lesson plans in English and
Chinese for replication at other international schools.
Elementary school exercises include greater experiential learning through utilization of solar powered
fountains in the school’s planned nature reserve. Elementary school exercises include greater
experiential learning through utilization of solar powered fountains in the school’s planned nature
Creative lessons geared towards middle school
and high school interests have included solar
powered robotics, model cars and model
cranes. NextGen Science and Common Core
curriculum provide the framework for sourcing
and developing a continuum of lessons to
benefit PK 12 learners.
High School International Baccalaureate (IB)
students have an opportunity to source, create,
and organize expected outcomes and lesson
plans to help fulfill their Community, Action,
and Service (CAS) requirements for IB diplomas.
Students are encouraged to help develop PK 12
Students study the angle of the earth in relation to the
sun to better understand utilization of solar energy.
solar power lessons, marketing, outreach,
event planning, and fundraising aspects of the
pilot effort. In addition, IB students are helping study the economics of solar power at SAS while helping
assess whether or not scaling up solar power makes sense for the school.
Expanded fundraising efforts and financing options are expected to provide additional solar power
capacity and demonstration components at Pudong and SAS Puxi campuses during the 2014 15 school
year. SAS facilities were recently analyzed by Clean Energy Associates (CEA) and HITEKE solar industry
experts. Analysis results conclude optimal solar capacity at 300kW and 500kW for the school’ respective
As additional funds are raised and financing options assessed, Shanghai American School students will
facilitate donations of 2.5kW educational solar arrays to other schools as part of the project’s
community outreach effort. Plans include consulting with Shanghai Roots & Shoots to identify suitable
local schools for educational solar array donations. Students helped transition the Pilot Solar Project to
Million Solar Stars as the intended scope of the initiative has grown from one school to an ambitious
but achievable goal of solar powering 1,000 schools.
The Evolution of the Million Solar Stars Logo
Market Conditions: Ripe for Solar Education at SAS
Shanghai American School has been an ideal international institution for launching Million Solar Stars.
In 2012, the school was honored with a “Green Star School Award” delivered personally by Dr. Jane
Goodall to SAS Roots & Shoots students for their leadership in establishing green school initiatives.
Students at SAS Pudong and Puxi campuses are
now ramping up their science, technology,
engineering, art and math skills in an effort to
further their effectiveness as change agents in
the greater Shanghai community. Students are
taking ownership of Million Solar Stars by
writing persuasive essays to potential corporate
partners, studying solar power economics,
researching solar photovoltaic uses, learning
solar software applications, and fundraising to
advance the project’s success.
Dr. Jane Goodall presents student leaders with “Green
Star School Award.”
In the spirit of SAS’s leadership in education and
innovation, as well as the school’s commitment to community service, Million Solar Stars bridges
advanced renewable energy systems with 21st Century learning. This project empowers PK 12 student
leadership through hands on exercises and provides enhanced teaching tools for SAS educators.
Cost reductions have enabled the solar industry to achieve a robust 65% compound annual growth rate
over the last 5 years. SAS students benefit by learning relevant 21st century technologies poised to
sustain rapid growth in the United States, China and around the world. Solar energy currently provides
0.25% of the world’s electricity supply, but the industry is growing at a remarkable pace and future
growth prospects look positive (Economist, 2012). One of the primary reasons for this growth is due to
Swanson’s law, a concept that suggests photovoltaic cell costs fall by 20% with each doubling of global
manufacturing capacity. This phenomenon has led to drastic price reductions from $100 per watt in
the 1950’s, to $76.67 per watt in 1977, to $0.74 per watt in 2013.
Solar Industry Market Conditions
Currently, solar panels represent about
33% of the cost structure for residential
and distributed photovoltaic systems,
mounting materials, inverters, and
installation account for remaining upfront
expenses. Costs have declined to enable
photovoltaic power to reach grid parity
with more expensive conventional sources
of electricity in certain regions of the
world (Economist, 2012).
Million Solar Stars serves as a case study for scaling up solar electrical production at SAS and other
schools in the Shanghai area. On August 30, 2013, the Shanghai Municipal Government implemented
solar power feed in tariffs for distributed systems. According to Clean Energy Associates solar industry
consultants, SAS qualifies for rebate and cost savings of 1.03 RMB / kWh ($0.167 / kWh) for solar energy
generated by the school. The incentive improves solar power economics significantly with an expected
9 year return on investment (ROI). After the initial investment is recouped, the school can expect an
estimated 10% annual return for the solar array’s remaining 16 year lifespan. Incentive figures suggest
solar may potentially save SAS about $1,000 per month per $100,000 of investments made in the
school’s solar power system.
Solar energy proves to be a good investment economically and educationally as the Million Solar Stars
program cultivates student leadership skills and provides real Life STEAM and economics teachings at
Shanghai American School. Additionally, the program offers strong marketing and public relations
platforms, reduces operating costs, and provides an outlet for the SAS community members to
actively work towards improving local air quality.
Educational Focus: STEAM Solar Design Challenge
During the spring semester of 2014, SAS high school Me to We service club members worked with
middle school science teachers to help plan and execute a Solar Design Challenge. The event was
created to help address NextGen Science requirements for engineering standards. The half day
challenge focused on creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and a hypothetical “International
Space Station Moon Quake” scenario that called on students to solve respective design and
engineering challenges for their grade
Challenge Scenario
A massive impact has just shaken the
astronauts on the lunar international
space station. Astronauts reported violent
shaking just before power outage and
communications failure.
Call to Action
Students, we need your engineering design skills to address this emergency. We are calling on you to
help rescue astronauts and fix the international space station.
8:45 a.m… Space station on the moon
Oh no! As you have heard from the base station, a moonquake has just damaged all of our stored
supplies. All of our helmets and filtration models have just been destroyed. If we don’t act fast, our
survival could be in danger. We have three hours. Remember, the fate of an entire station depends on
Your Mission:
6th graders—Build a model of the space vehicle to transport our supplies to the moon using solar
7th graders—Build a space pack equipped with a helmet particulate matter (PM) filtration model to
help the astronauts on the moon.
8th graders—Build an electric crane model from recycled boxes with a fuel tank knocked over after
the moonquake.
Each of you has a basket of basic materials on your table. Further materials may be earned later.
8:50 a.m… An opportunity strikes
We have found an emergency storage vault, but unfortunately there is a password required to
enter. We need these supplies to accomplish the mission. There is a riddle on the password keypad.
Can you solve it? Send one person from your team with the password to Base Camp when you are
done to unlock your materials for the challenge. First come, first serve.
9:30 a.m…More things to bring
Looks like we have to incorporate some more things into our design. A mentor will come around
with a box of materials. Choose one person to draw out one material. If every team can incorporate
their assigned material, we may have a chance to save the station. Remember, if we can
incorporate the material to improve the function or design of our product, we’ll get the attention of
Base Camp.
10:00 a.m… A switch can be made
Base Camp has just given the orders. There are more materials, but they will take time to retrieve.
Your team can choose to sacrifice five minutes of your time to get more materials or continue on
with the mission. Send one person to Base with your team’s choice.
10:30 a.m… Time to report progress
Base Camp has just asked for reports of your team’s progress. Using the materials at your table,
create a quick poster to explain your product’s design and functionality or other information you
have. Remember to give a small introduction of all your team members and Base Camp will take
into account both the informational and visual appeal of your poster. Send one person to Base
Camp with your poster report.
11:30 a.m…Time is up…
Me to We club members describe solar design challenge
to 7th and 8th grade students after projecting video
instruction on big screen.
7th and 8th grade students listen intently to solar
design instructions.
Grade 6 Solar Design Challenge: Build a Solar Model Car Lunar Rover
6th grade students further developed 21st Century science and engineering skills by building solar
model cars. Students retrofitted mousetrap cars they had built previously in the semester into
responsive solar electric vehicles. Through engineering, building and performance tests, students
learned the value of design thinking, teamwork and collaboration.
Students design, engineer and adapt unique solar model cars powered by laboratory lighting.
Students were provided a variety of model car parts including axels, gears, wheels, motors, wires,
alligator clips, and 3 watt solar panels to retrofit mousetrap cars. Their objective was to convert cars
into unique solar model cars capable of moving in laboratory light conditions. Students were able to
refer to other model solar cars for design and engineering ideas. It was the first time several learners
had used needle nose pliers, wire cutters, soldering irons, Phillips head screwdrivers, and other tools
supplied for this hands on “Motion and Forces” project.
Creative and critical thinking is employed by students as they are challenged to design custom solar model cars.
One of the challenges of this project stemmed from students having freedom to choose different model
car, wheels and gear sizes. Teams of two or three students were tasked with designing and engineering
their own unique car. This open ended format led to challenges and frustration for some students as
they did not have a manual to follow. In the end, the open ended format worked well, as the challenges
stretched students and teachers to think creatively and critically, leading to solid learning opportunities.
Solar model cars inspire “light bulb moments” as students utilize science, engineering and design lessons.
After students completed solar model car designs
over the course of three science classes, their
creations were subject to performance tests in the
high school gym during a dedicated Solar Design
Challenge. Students tested their cars for speed
and distance, and reflected on their teamwork and
learning during the solar model car project.
CEO Justin Wang of Asia Tree Technology solar
company captivates students.
Students run solar model car performance tests in gym laboratory environment and on a solar ramp built by Me
to We students.
Example of 6th grade student’s iWeb reflection on their proudest solar engineering experience and overcoming
6th grade students review the skill sets required to successfully design and construct their solar model cars.
Celebrating the incredible communication, collaboration creativity and critical thinking required by the challenge.
At the end of year, student led conferences (SLCs), approximately 90% of students considered the
Solar Model Car project as their most memorable example of creative learning according to 6th grade
science teachers. Designing and creating a solar powered vehicle with classmates provided significant
engineering challenges for students. Learners used inquiry skills, discussed design ideas with peers,
designed and redesigned solar vehicles, and dealt with real world resource and time constraints. At
the end of the Solar Model Car project, students celebrated their learning and creative engineering
accomplishments. As more than 100 of the first Million Solar Stars, these students proved to hold
strong potential as future sustainability industry leaders.
Grade 7 Solar Design Challenge: Build a Space Pack with a Particular Matter Filtration Unit
Leading up to the Solar Design Challenge, students studied life systems and the importance of oxygen
for respiration in their 7th grade science classes. Teachers showed students segments of the Apollo 13
emergency space situation as part of their preparation before engineering challenges were presented.
The Solar Design Challenge emergency space
station scenario included an engineering project
tailored to cultivate design thinking around
breathing systems and the importance of a clean
air supply. Students built unique space packs
with foam core boards, hoses, tinfoil, fans,
motors, 9 volt batteries, and recycled items.
Designs were influenced by student knowledge
of space suits and scuba diving gear, including
one team’s space pack design that gained
exemplary recognition for inclusion of two air
valves, serving main and emergency intake
7th grade students designed and engineered “space packs”
for clean air breathing systems.
Using a variety of supplies, 7th grade students built particular matter filtration units for their design challenge.
SAS 7th graders in custom filtration spacesuits, engineered and designed from the drawing board to the finished product.
Grade 8 Solar Design Challenge: Build a Solar Crane to Right a Capsized Fuel Tank
The focus for the 8th grade component of the Solar Design Challenge was to incorporate a “motion
and forces” engineering task addressing the following Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS):
Science and Engineering Practices:
o Constructing explanations and design
solutions – Students constructed a clear
explanation of their design solution(s)
addressing a problem(s) faced during the
design process, and applied scientific
ideas to the design.
NGSS Cross Cutting Concepts:
o Scale, proportion and quantity –
Students’ illustrative model shows
accurate measurements and
8th graders were well equipped with a variety
mathematical relationships to the crane.
of supplies for their solar crane challenge.
Students effectively translated the actual
crane into a scale model.
o Structure and function – Students accurately communicated relationships in the way an
object is shaped (and/or what it is made of) and how this determines many of its
properties and functions. Form follows function!
Prior to event day, 8th grade students had learned about tool safety and how to use screwdrivers,
wrenches, washers, pliers, shears, wiring, and soldering irons. In addition, they were given time
during the two classes leading up to the event to experiment and practice with tools they would have
access to during the Solar Design Challenge. Materials included cardboard boxes, plastic bottles,
string, wire, screws, popsicle sticks, pulleys, batteries, solar panels, and 5 volt motors.
Participants were directed to work in teams of three to four students to design and build a model
solar powered crane system designed to right a capsized fuel tank.
Guided by the Next
Generation Science
Standards rubric,
students carefully
planned, designed and
engineered their
“motion and forces”
solar crane projects.
They primarily used
everyday materials such
as cardboard boxes,
plastic bottles, string,
wire, screws and
popsicle sticks in
addition to pulleys,
batteries, solar panels
and 5 volt motors.
Solar electric crane design and sketch from SAS 8th grader.
After utilizing a number of tools and extensive teamwork, cranes right model fuel supply cylinders in performance
tests by SAS 8th graders.
Funding & Awareness Campaigns Shine with Creativity
Who said raising awareness and funds for solar power should
be dull? In order to attract the boldest and the brightest—and
if the objective includes sparking an initiative—make a call for
all student, parent and teacher superheroes to get involved.
Leveraging School Passions for Projects
Million Solar Stars discovered that one of the best ways to
engage students, faculty and community members is to invite
them, their passions and interests to help shape a project.
The initial success of Million Solar Stars can largely be
attributed to engaging students and SAS community
members along their lines of interests. The project’s open,
creative philosophy has helped to expand participation and
has led to students creating and sourcing logos, posters,
Poster created by a high school graphic
videos, solar model cars, hand crafted planters, T shirts,
design student.
“solar mohawk” wigs, and “Sun Fund” wristbands. It was an
additional benefit to have a talent pool with a variety of
natural abilities, skill sets, language capabilities and a robust network of movers and shakers to help
launch Million Solar Stars.
Students raised funds for Million Solar Stars through several different activities including T shirts, Solar Mohawks and
Sun Fund wristbands.
Student leadership and creativity has led to awareness, noteworthy participation and funding for the
project. At the end of the day, who doesn’t like the idea of clean energy and education? By
leveraging people’s inherent passion and interests, Million Solar Stars rallied greater participation,
community support and buy in to increase the focus on solar power at SAS.
How about talking with established clubs and classes that could bring their expertise to the table?
Imagine how engineering, social media, video, and photography clubs might add value. Additionally,
graphics classes, Model United Nations (MUN), Global Issues Network (GIN), CISCO, Robotics, Roots &
Shoots, IB students, and more can contribute their unique purposes to build a strong foundation for
an educational solar power initiative. In fact, all of the above, along with PTSA members, science,
math, humanities, and art teachers have graciously volunteered time, talent and skills to help bring
solar power to SAS.
The initiative gained widespread support and has raised
money through bake sales, campaigns to decarbonize
travel, grants from Edge for Excellence and the PTSA,
art planter silent auctions, solar powered healthy
snacks sales, an electric scooter raffle, benefit concerts,
the shaving of “solar mohawks,” a Guinness World
Record Moonwalk attempt, and various fundraising
efforts led by students. Collectively, the efforts have
raised thousands of dollars for the project’s “Sun Fund.”
The photos and graphics below may spark ideas to help
bring solar power to other schools.
Student fundraising efforts were imaginative
and effective.
Posters for solar fundraising activities that played upon the
sun’s role in powering photosynthesis and food production.
The PTSA sponsored an electric scooter and helmet raffle.
h $
Pilot Solar Project
O n e
M i l l io n
E n g a g e d
A r t ,
a nd
S o l a r
i n
T e c h n o l og y ,
S t a r s
S c i e nc e ,
E n g i n e e r i n g ,
M a t h
P r oj e c t s
Posters designed by students to promote various events and festivities produced by Million Solar Stars in its early
days when it was known as Million Solar Students.
The Shanghai Youth String Quartet (SYSQ) played four benefit concerts to raise awareness and funding for solar
power at SAS. Thanks to the generosity of these incredibly talented musicians, SYSQ and fans have raised over
$1,500 for Million Solar Stars.
Solar Mohawks Raise Hair and Funds
Middle school Roots & Shoots students brainstormed and then voted on ways to raise awareness and
funds to bring solar energy to their school. When presented with the prospect of teachers, students
and administrators shaving mohawks into their heads if fundraising goals were achieved, middle
school students voted unanimously in
favor of the idea. In terms of raising
awareness for solar power and added
marketing value, Roots & Shoots members
pointed out that the profile of a “Solar
Mohawk” “kind of looks like the sun’s
In just two years, more than 24 brave
teachers, four students, and one
administrator have participated in this
“hair raising” event, receiving the Solar
Mohawks before hundreds of cheering
middle school students. Volunteer
Real and artificial mohawks raise money and awareness at SAS.
teachers and students have helped shave
and sculpt mohawks for those willing and able to change their hairstyle for a good cause. For others
who believed themselves to be “wise beyond their mohawk years,” or wanted to support solar power
without the drastic hairstyle change, colorful Solar Mohawk wigs were made available as a fun,
alternative option.
Creative students provided bibs for those in the barber chairs that spelled out “S O L A R P O W E R
M E” as well as other promotional materials.
SAS Solar Mohawks promotion.
More than 25 brave teachers and students made a buzz as they received “Solar Mohawks” at two different assemblies.
More than 600 5th 8th grade students were cheering witnesses to a a guitar and crowd sign a long while hair and funds
were raised for solar.
The phenomenal support of teachers like Ian McCuaig is another indicator of how fully the
SAS staff and students have embraced Million Solar Stars’ fun, educational approach to
solar energy.
Guinness World Record Attempt Promotes Solar Power and Launches MSS Program
A very successful, official program launch of Million Solar Stars involved an attempt at a world record
sponsored by Coca Cola and HITEKE solar company. On Friday, April 25th, 2014, 823 SAS students,
parents and faculty members joined forces to lift the program’s
visibility to new heights in an attempt to break a moonwalking
Guinness World Record.
Leading up to the event, students trained for several weeks in PE and
dance classes to improve their moonwalk form. Additionally, they
designed logos, T shirts, posters and video trailers in preparation for
the Million Solar Stars launch.
Pre registry for the simultaneous moonwalk stood at 160 people on event day, so when hundreds of
additional people showed up to the track just prior to the record attempt, Roots & Shoots student
planners were thrilled with the turnout as they hurried to organize their efforts. Each participant was
handed a popsicle stick upon entering the gates of the track, held as a form of ticket stub, and then
turned into a box designated for the students’ or teachers’ respective “house” upon completion of the
effort. Event stewards helped bring students and teachers together into their houses around the track
for safety, and ensured participants were giving their best moonwalk effort for the duration of the
Seven students took the stage and led aerobics, warm ups and stretching. SAS PE teacher Ben Regan
then counted down from ten over the PA system while students joined the countdown in a loud chorus.
A buzz of excitement filled the air and the start gun sounded as “Billy Jean” cranked over the sound
system as the simultaneous backslide began.
View of track and hundreds of moonwalk participants during official launch of Million Solar Stars.
Moonwalkers slid in unison and in clockwise fashion like a wheel of people around the track for nearly
a full lap. SAS Activities Director Todd Parham said, “It’s working—this is amazing!”
Students strut their best moonwalks in a Guinness World Record attempt for the “Most People Moonwalking
The crowd backslid in unison around the school’s track for 8 minutes, 26 seconds to Michael Jackson’s
“Billie Jean” and “Thriller” songs until fatigue set in. Moonwalkers endured nearly a full lap of
backsliding as they showed their passion for bringing solar energy to SAS.
When event organizers asked Deputy Superintendent Andrew Torris how many people he thought
turned out for the event, he estimated between 600 and 1,000. Official event witnesses observed the
occasion from their tent beside the track. Master of Ceremonies Pyong Mun Yung called all participants
to the stage in the middle of the track to place their popsicle stick ticket stubs in their respective house
Popsicle sticks were counted and re counted at 823 participants during the Solar Mohawk assembly
and Guinness World Record attempt celebration, held simultaneously later that day. The sticks were
counted again by independent witnesses, Melissa Juszynski and Deb Armstrong, who verified the
initial participant count of 823 people. Upon careful review of video footage, 36 people were
disqualified for not giving their best effort or failing to use the qualified moonwalk form.
Though the results are still in Guinness’ validation period, the previous record for “Most People
Moonwalking Simultaneously” stood at 250. Official results are expected late November 2014.
Moonwalk participants celebrate a very unique program launch of Million Solar Stars.
MSS video crew covered all angles of the moonwalk record attempt.
Roots & Shoots students at the Million Solar Stars launch take pride in the combined planning and execution of the Solar
Mohawk and Guinness World Record events.
SAS “Eagle Review Magazine” article about the Guinness World Record attempt at the
launch of Million Solar Stars.
Background: SAS Ready for Solar
Founded in 1912, Shanghai American School is among the oldest international schools in the world and
China's largest with over 3,200 students from more than 40 countries. SAS is an independent, non
profit school and offers a pre kindergarten through Grade 12 program based on American core
curriculum, as stated on the school’s website (Overview of SAS). SAS has expanded and developed its
two campuses over the last several years to accommodate a growing student population. The school
recently added several buildings and has made ongoing facilities improvements to remain in the
forefront of international education. Improvements to facilities have expanded capacity for educational
offerings and the ability to admit a larger student population.
Rapid growth has remained largely beneficial, but has also led to challenges including power
shortages and the need to increase electrical capacity, according to Andy Torris, SAS Deputy
Superintendent. In the summer of 2013, the school broke ground on a modern performing arts center
which it understands will add further power demand on its Pudong campus. Torris stated, “The
architectural plan includes a south facing building design with a flat rooftop space ideal for a sizeable
solar power array.” Thus the mission of Million Solar Stars is well timed, engaging students in learning
about solar energy, testing the potential for solar to satisfy a significant portion of the school’s power
needs, and improving school facilities.
Technology at SAS
SAS fosters 21st Century programs including a
one to one Mac learning environment from
Grade 6 through high school. The school has
two campuses in the Pudong (East River) and
Puxi (West River) areas of Shanghai, and
exceptional resources for fine arts and STEAM
based education. SAS has invested heavily in
technology resources for enhancing and
supporting student learning. The school has
several multimedia, Internet connected,
computer labs and hundreds of stand alone
computers to serve students. Shanghai
American School is committed to integrating
the use of emerging technology in all curricula,
and to developing the learning skills needed for
students (Technology at SAS).
Screenshot of Lead Solar monitoring software that
provides data for study in science and math classes.
The pilot solar project will leverage the school’s outdoor learning space, and bolster data monitoring
capabilities in classrooms. SAS is ideal for this project as students have a high capacity for technology,
research, planning, marketing, fundraising, documentation of installation, and ongoing STEAM
School History, Growth and Assets
Founded in 1912, Shanghai American School opened its doors with 38 students. By the 1920’s, SAS had
attracted over 500 PK 12 students from expatriate missionary, diplomatic, and business families.
According to the school’s website, SAS closed its doors for about 3 decades in 1950 after the change in
Chinese government, and then reopened in 1980 with approximately 20 students (A Brief History). In
the early 1990’s, the school grew too big for its location on the grounds of the U.S. Consulate General
and moved to its two new locations
in Pudong and Puxi. Since reopening
in 1980, growth has been
tremendous. The annual report for
school year 2011 2012 highlights
projected income for operations at
$73.4 million. Shanghai American
School’s total assets are listed as
$184,800,000, which can be broken
down as the following:
$64,000,000 for Cash and Receivables
$97,000,000 for Buildings and Equipment
$23,800,000 for Other Assets
The recent green light by the SAS Executive Team for the pilot solar project continues the tradition of
improving school facilities by incorporating educational solar power into the school. This project will
help facilitate students and SAS community members to develop 21st Century clean energy educational
opportunities in the community.
Mission, Philosophy and Organizational Process
The core values of SAS include cultivating global citizens with a duty to care for the earth and its
inhabitants to ensure the wellbeing of humankind. SAS believes creativity, critical thinking and a lifelong
passion for learning are essential to personal fulfillment and to meet the challenges of the future (Core
Values and Mission). The SAS home page (2013) describes the school as:
Cherishing a long legacy of educational excellence and a broad community of accomplished alumni
that has made a difference in every corner of the world. SAS works hard to keep ahead of the
changing demands of 21st Century education by providing the technology, creative teaching, and
opportunities for real life and service learning that take SAS students beyond the classroom walls and
into the global community.
The SAS mission is to inspire in all students a lifelong passion for learning, a commitment to act with
integrity and compassion, and the courage to live their dreams. The school recently developed a
strategic plan that states:
We will align our financial and capital resources to achieve our strategic objectives and
We will align and enhance our curriculum and co curriculum to achieve our strategic
objectives and mission.
We will align and design our branding, marketing, and communication initiatives, as well as
admission policies and procedures, to support our strategic objectives and mission.
Million Solar Stars is designed to leverage the SAS mission,
philosophy, strategic plan and the school’s technology
infused Project NOW initiative to provide a hands on,
working framework for students to bring solar energy to
SAS. The “Four Cs” of Project NOW’s include creativity,
collaboration, critical thinking and communication, all
tenets that align perfectly Million Solar Stars objectives.
Upon completion of the pilot phase, students and faculty
will have opportunities to increase education about solar
energy as well as solar power capacity at SAS and at other
schools in response to real world energy and air quality
Project NOW objectives outline leadership
development with 21st Century skills through a
learning environment.
Meet the Million Solar Stars Team
Adam Hall
Project Coordinator, Shanghai American School
Andrew Gao
Project Manager, Clean Energy Associates
Qiao Zhen
Consultant, HITEKE
Tori Zwisler
Consultant, Shanghai Roots & Shoots Chair
Huiney Xu
Translator of Chinese Solar Power Lessons, Shanghai American School
High School IB Student Volunteers
Shanghai American School
Roots & Shoots High School and Middle School Club Members
Shanghai American School
Marketing and Communications Objectives
Communications objectives include: Raising awareness and continued funding for solar power in
educational institutions; incorporating
engaging solar energy lessons into science,
technology, engineering, and math lessons;
and developing communications around
educational, environmental, and economic
benefits of project based renewable energy
Provide fun and engaging project
based PK 12 renewable energy
Power SAS Pudong campus, and
subsequently the Puxi campus, with
clean renewable energy
Reduce reliance on coal power and
reduce school operating costs
The Solar Eagle remote control car is just one small
example of ways to engage students in fun, relatable
Create solar power carbon offset program for school related and personal travel
Expand with the Million Solar Stars corporate and school initiatives
Measureable Results
Primary measurable results of the early Million Solar Stars efforts include installation of the 4kW pilot
solar array, utilization of this solar energy system and software for STEAM lessons, and developing
hands on student solar power lesson plans. Future projects may include student built solar robotics,
solar model cars, model lighting systems,
and shadow casting over the pilot solar
array to test effects on efficiency.
Secondary measurable results include
further adoption of 21st Century renewable
energy focused curriculum, realization of
feed in tariff rebates, establishing
corporate partners to expand the program,
installation of additional solar power,
gaining significant press coverage and
marketing reflected by media impressions
and web site analytics, and presenting the
MSS campaign to additional Shanghai
SAS Roots & Shoots students giving environmental lesson
to their peers in another high school in Inner Mongolia.
Project Timeline and Near Term Objectives
The alignment of Million Solar Stars with other SAS school initiatives has resulted in a quickly evolving
program. Tremendous community participation has enabled strong progress. This momentum is leading
to clear planning and objectives with other near term projects.
1) Install 4 kW pilot solar array (Completed May 2014)
2) Middle School and High School Student Projects
Plan Solar Car Workshop for Education for Sustainability Conference (November 9,
Plan for Solar Day and Solar Mohawk Event (April 24, 2015)
3) High School IB Student Project
Research relevant PK 12 solar power lessons and outcomes
a. K 5 experiential exercises
b. Grade 3 12 NextGen Science STEAM based lessons and outcomes
Refine and expand Million Solar Stars blog
Communications plan, public relations and social media platform
4) Develop Corporate Partnership Package
Project Timeline
Project Name
A. Hall
Establish best site on
campus and define type of
educational solar array
(rooftop or arbor) with
middle school science
teachers, students and
A. Hall with MS Science
Department and CEA
Finalize installation vendor,
purchase 4kW to 3kW pilot
solar array and begin
installation through Clean
Energy Associates (CEA)
consulting firm
A. Hall with MS Science
Department and CEA
Finalize solar array
installation and connect
educational LeadSolar
monitoring software
A. Hall with MS Science
Department and CEA
A. Hall
Million Solar Stars Timeline
Detailed Site Analysis, 4kW
Pilot Educational Solar Array
Purchase and Installation
Lesson Plan Development
and Solar Power Instruction
Develop 5 NextGen Science
solar power lessons with IB
High School students
Science and Chinese
Departments (English and
A. Hall with IB High
School students, MS
Science Department,
Chinese Department,
CEA Curriculum
Deliver final lesson plans to
Middle School Science and
Chinese teachers for
interdisciplinary Earth
Week and Solar Day
A. Hall with MS Science
Department, Chinese
Department, CEA
Teach educational solar
power lessons to PK 12
Science and Chinese
A. Hall with IB High
School students, MS
Science and Chinese
Departments, CEA,
Applied Materials
Evaluate feed in tariff
rebates from utility and
scalability of system at SAS
A. Hall with MS Science
Department, and CEA
Data Monitoring, Marketing,
Fundraising for 5kW to
10kW System, Evaluation
and Development of Solar
Project Manual for
Replication at other Schools
Develop pilot Solar Project
website (English and
A. Hall with Roots &
Shoots SAS Solar Project
Students and Chinese
Develop social media
platform (English and
A. Hall with Roots &
Shoots SAS Solar Project
Plan and execute Million
Solar Stars Solar Mohawk
awareness and fundraiser
and Solar Day Assembly
(modeled after successful
Earth Week 2013 program
that raised over $2,000)
A. Hall with PTSA and IB
Install 5kW educational
solar array to add to 1kW
to 3kW pilot solar PV array
A. Hall with MS Science
Department, and CEA
Evaluate Million Solar and
create Project Manual
(English and Chinese) for
replication at other schools
A. Hall with MS Science
Chinese Departments
Continue Project
evaluation, bolt on
additional solar power, and
Introduce Solar Project to
area Shanghai Schools
(English and Chinese)
A. Hall with MS Science
Chinese Departments
A Study of SAS Pudong Electricity Consumption & Costs
SAS students are currently studying electrical consumption at the Pudong campus to understand the
metrics of a future solar array at this location.
Call for Corporate Partnership and Financing
The Shanghai American School community includes a world class network of executives and decision
makers from leading international companies and organizations. Gaining participation from key
community members and companies is essential to the project’s success. Strategic objectives include
developing corporate partnerships and earning additional grant money to support program
development. Leading solar panel manufacturing companies and renewable energy companies based
in and around Shanghai have the opportunity for exceptional public relations and marketing value by
partnering with Million Solar Stars. Through Million Solar Stars, corporations can help qualifying schools
to receive 2.5 kW solar systems by installing 1 MW of solar energy on their own corporate facilities.
Moreover, corporate partners may have an option for carbon offset ownership rights from solar
electricity generated on school grounds.
In addition to community fundraising and the development of the corporate partnership program,
Million Solar Stars could help schools benefit considerably from solar financing options through banks
and energy service companies.
Interested individuals and organizations should contact MSS Project Coordinator Adam Hall at
[email protected]
Current Sponsors and Partners:
Future Potential Sponsors and Partners Could Include, But Not Limited To:
MSS Project Budget Narratives and Tables
Revenue Budget Narrative
The Million Solar Stars budget is $180,165 for the 2014 2015 school year. Excited SAS students have
helped raise over $18,300 to install an educational, demonstration sized solar array and web based
monitoring software.
In kind matching contributions include significant volunteer time for the Million Solar Stars. Revenue
estimates include 12 students volunteering 50 hours each at $10 per hour ($6,000), and 8 parent,
teacher and community volunteers at 20 hours each at $15 per hour ($2,400). MSS is fortunate to
have Lijim Lau, Regional Manager of Applied Materials, who offered to help source donated panels
through solar industry relationships ($1,250). Lau has generously offered to deliver a solar industry
presentation at a school assembly (estimated value of $500). To date, the MSS project coordinator
has dedicated over 200 hours of volunteer time to planning (valued at $50 per hour or $10,000).
Shanghai American School solar project revenue is expected to increase during the 2014 2015 school
year through community fundraising efforts. Revenue from the school’s foundation, bake sales, the
3rd Annual Solar Mohawk Event, student organized concerts, and PTSA grants are projected to
increase from $18,300 in year one to more than $20,000 in year two of the program. Significant
revenue growth is likely due to increased project awareness, additional planning time for fundraising
events, and further collaboration with area businesses and influential community members.
Individual donations and grants will aid educational solar power capacity and outreach expansion.
For the 2014 2015 grant cycle, the project coordinator has requested a total of $130,799 from The
Coca Cola Foundation, Ford Foundation, and others to be determined.
Expenses Budget Narrative
Million Solar Stars total expenses are $180,165 with a $130,799 cash requirement and an in kind
contribution of $49,366.
Sponsorship funds and grant money would contribute to hiring a paid project coordinator for 40 hours
per week for 50 weeks at $50 per hour ($100,000 salary). A Chinese teacher will translate five solar
power lesson plans from English to Chinese (Mandarin). Translation of the Million Solar Stars manual
and five solar power lessons estimated at a total of 200 hours and $15 per hour ($3,000.00).
Anticipated cost for 62.5 hours consulting by Clean Energy Associates at $80 per hour is $5,000.
Administrative expense estimates are factored by 12% of the Million Solar Stars’s budget and total
$9,652. Estimates include office space ($2,500), utilities ($500), marketing materials ($2,000), office
supplies ($2,000), support from secretaries ($1500) and miscellaneous ($1,151).
Other expense items include materials and supplies to outfit 10 schools with 2.5kW solar arrays
($21,962), solar array brackets, cables protective covering and other installation hardware ($3,550),
web enabled software ($1,000), ten Solar Eagle Remote Control Car Kits ($5,000), and educational
solar power curriculum ($700).
Moving Forward and Evaluating Success
Million Solar Stars will test solar power efficiency and scalability at Shanghai American School and
potential for program expansion to other schools in Shanghai. Already, the 2012 2014 pilot phase has
provided student research and graphic arts lessons, creation and delivery of presentations by students
to school decision makers, and successful student organized fundraising events.
Evaluation of Million Solar Stars
will include qualitative and
quantitative assessments by
students and teachers. The
project coordinator will
administer an online survey in the
spring of 2015 with questions
concentrating on outreach
effectiveness and awareness of
the program, level of
incorporation in interdisciplinary
science, technology, engineering,
art, and math lessons, utilization
of monitoring software, reduction
of CO2 and other pollutants,
increased water efficiency,
adoption of pilot solar arrays by
other schools in Shanghai, and
scalability of solar power systems
at qualifying learning institutions.
Students celebrate the successful installation of the 4kW Solar Pilot Project
solar array at SAS
During the 2014 15 school year, Shanghai American School students will continue expanding
educational solar power at SAS Pudong and Puxi campuses, while taking lessons learned and an initial
2.5kW solar array donation to a local Shanghai school.
Million Solar Stars aims to expand solar power at Shanghai American School and other schools
through key corporate partnerships. The hope is, through this project, interactive elements of
educational solar power will inspire students, teachers, schools, and businesses to think creatively and
join the effort in solar powering education with Million Solar Stars.
Team Demonstrates Success with School Solar Projects
The Million Solar Stars Project Coordinator Adam Hall brings a track record of experience and success
with other school solar projects. Hall spearheaded a 1kW educational solar array installation at Denver
Academy in Denver, Colorado, and made significant writing contributions for Lyons Middle School and
High School in Lyons, Colorado, to receive grant money for a 21kW educational solar array. The solar
arrays at these leading institutions in Colorado have been in operation since 2007 and 2008 respectively.
Denver Academy (DA) is a center for
excellence for the education of students
with learning differences and focuses on
teaching students with different types of
DA’s unique learning
environment offers a niche for hands on
learning and community involvement
using not only innovative teaching
mechanisms, but also an opportunity to
incorporate modern sustainable and
renewable technologies into quality
teaching tools.
DA’s Green Jedi environmental club students were
instrumental in bringing a 1kW solar array to their school
The Green Jedi environmental club at DA was
instrumental in site planning, marketing, and selling the idea of a clean energy project to their school.
Green Jedi members made posters, held fundraisers, walked through site analyses, problem solved,
worked through real world challenges, and approached businesses in their community for donations.
Students wearing Green Jedi robes and solar powered backpacks gave a creative and convincing
presentation to earn an in kind donation for project engineering and installation. Through persistence,
hard work and determination, the Green Jedi’s eventually turned their project plans into a reality. The
students developed a strong sense of ownership over the DA Solar Project.
The DA solar array was connected in the fall of 2007. At the same time, the group installed an
educational computer device that extrapolates data from the array, which is organized and presented
on a customized webpage. Each day, students can view graphs revealing total power generated for the
hour, day, week and year. They also have access to information such as total CO2 reduction and income
generation. DA teachers have used the school’s solar array and software as cross curricular tool in
various classes. Students have learned to predict, graph, analyze efficiency and study interference by
producing shadows over the array. Students are also able to check the website remotely for regular
homework assignments.
The project coordinator
for Million Solar Stars also
assisted in the grant
writing process for Lyons
Middle School and High
School, which resulted in
the award of $120,000 to
install a 21kW solar array
to help the school with its
“Go Green” initiative. The
21kW educational solar
significant amount of
electricity for the school.
The coordinator needs to
obtain an update from
teachers, and students
regarding the system’s
performance and how the
educational solar array is
being utilized.
DA community celebrates the powering of an educational solar array on their
campus in Denver, Colorado
To date, these successful educational solar installations have enabled several hundred students in
Denver and Lyons to apply solar power learning with accompanying smart solar monitoring software.
Hundreds of schools around the United States, China, and the world have installed solar arrays for
educational lessons, environmental benefits, and to reduce operating costs.
A Clear Future for Million Solar Stars
At the recent United Nations Convention on Climate Change held in Doha, Qatar, on December 4,
2012, UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon urged negotiators to show strong political commitment to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Pointing to destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy and other
costly weather disasters in 2012, the Secretary General reminded international climate conference
participants that in 2012 the world saw Manhattan and Beijing under water, and hundreds of
thousands of people were washed from their homes in Colombia, Peru, Australia and the Philippines
(Ritter, 2012).
Recently, the United Nation’s High Level Global Sustainability Panel released a report, “Resilient
People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing.” The report served as a central document for the
UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June of 2013 to address sustainable development
challenges in a fresh and effective way (Siegel, 2012).
The Global Sustainability Panel’s 56 recommendations were grouped into 15 categories, one of which
focused on education and skills for sustainable development. Specific recommendations include
establishing a global education fund and enabling young people’s participation in, and influence on,
decision making processes (Siegel, 2012).
The need to engage students in critical thinking and problem solving focused on sustainable systems is
of utmost importance for global environmental and economic prosperity. This is one reason why
countries like the United States are calling for educational reform with added focus on science,
technological, engineering, (art), and math disciplines. According to the United States President’s
Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, we must prepare all students to be proficient in STEM
subjects, and we must inspire students to learn STEM and, in the process, motivate many of them to
pursue STEM careers (2010, September).
The People’s Republic of China’s 12th Five Year Plan provides additional compelling reasons for a
program like Million Solar Stars. China is investing significant resources towards a central goal of
“Establishing a resource conserving environmentally friendly society… and taking the path of
sustainable development” (Casey, 2011). The Chinese government is taking important steps to
promote clean energy, in part, due to heavy reliance on coal power and its effects on the environment
in urban areas like Shanghai. Shanghai American School and other educational institutions have an
important role in cooperating, collaborating, and helping facilitate a transition towards a resource
conserving, environmentally friendly society highlighted in the 12th Five Year Plan.
Currently, Beijing is rolling out the Sunshine Schools initiative financed by The World Bank to provide
100 MW of solar power to over 800 schools by 2018. This exciting initiative will directly benefit over
two million students at these solar powered schools in the coming years. In addition to real world
STEAM curriculum alignment, solar powered learning facilities offer direct educational,
environmental, and economic benefits, while further institutionalizing distributed clean energy
sources. The Sunshine Schools project is a clear indication the Chinese government and The World
Bank agree the time is right to increase solar power installations at schools.
Taking into consideration solar power efficiency gains over the last five years and the ruling of
Shanghai’s August 30, 2013 solar electrical feed in tariff, a project similar in scale to Beijing’s Sunshine
Schools program is warranted. Inspired by the Sunshine Schools initiative and the recent successful
implementation of the Shanghai Roots & Shoots Million Tree Project, Million Solar Stars aims to
develop a solar project of significant value for students in Shanghai. Prospects abound for solar power
at schools to improve environmental health while bringing STEAM based learning to life for future
scientists, technicians, engineers, salespeople, business owners, policymakers and sustainability
industry leaders. Million Solar Stars aspires to build a platform for expanding solar power in
education with the intention of inspiring the next brilliant solar champion.
Annotated Bibliography and References
1.) Casey, J. & Koleski, K. (2011, June 24). Backgrounder: China’s 12th Five Year Plan. U.S. China
Economic Security Review Commission.
The U.S China Economic and Security Review Commission did an excellent job summarizing
the most recent five year plan issued by the Chinese government. This is a well written
document and at 22 pages, it summarizes many of the economic and environmental
initiatives in which the Chinese are investing significant amounts of money through 2016.
2.) China to launch National Low carbon Day. (2012, September 21). The Shanghai Daily.
Retrieved September 22, 2012 from Green Mountain College Academic Universe.
The fact that China recognizes the need for a National Low carbon Day to minimize
greenhouse gas emissions is promising. The article sites a pledge for the government to cut
energy use per unit of GDP by 16 percent by 2015 from the level in 2011, while lifting non
fossil fuel energy use to 11.4 percent from the current 8.6 percent. This information
provides reasons for cautious optimism.
3.) Edutopia. Retrieved November 28, 2012 from http://www.edutopia.org/research validates
project based learning.
The Center for Research in Educational Policy at the University of Memphis and University
of Tennessee at Knoxville concluded a study in 1999 that found students using the Co nect
program, which emphasizes project based learning and technology, improved test scores in
all subject areas over a two year period on the Tennessee Value Added Assessment System.
The Co nect schools outperformed control schools by 26 percent. The SAS Solar Project
aims to utilize project based learning and dashboard data tracking systems to analyze the
school’s solar array efficiency under varying conditions.
4.) Edutopia. Retrieved November 28, 2012 from http://www.edutopia.org/research.
Researchers at SRI International found that technology using students in Challenge 2000
Multimedia Project classrooms outperformed non technology using students in
communication skills, teamwork, and problem solving. The five year study was designed to
measure students' skills in constructing a presentation aimed at a particular audience.
Students from Multimedia Project classrooms outperformed comparison classrooms in all
three areas scored by researchers and teachers: student content, attention to audience,
and design. Million Solar Schools plans to incorporate lessons learned from the Multimedia
Project to complete interdisciplinary multimedia projects that integrate real world issues
and practices.
5.) Gullo, K. (2012, October 12). Solyndra Sues Suntech Over Claims of Solar Antitrust Conspiracy.
Renewable Energy World.Com. Retrieved October 22, 2012 from
http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2012/10/solyndra sues
suntech over claims of solar antitrust conspiracy?cmpid=rss.
This article speaks to a lawsuit recently filed by Solyndra, which claims Suntech, Trina Solar
Ltd. And Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Raised money from American investors, yet sought
to destroy American competitors such as Solyndra. Along with the companies mentioned,
an energy trade association, China’s energy administration, Chinese banks, and Chinese
polysilicon manufacturers are named as co conspirators in the lawsuit. Suntech has offices
in Shanghai and the company is the largest solar panel manufacturing company in the
6.) Grumbine, Edward, R. (2007, March 01). China's Emergence and the Prospects for Global
Sustainability. Bioscience, (3), 249. Retrieved from http://elibrary.bigchalk.com.
An overview that analyzes China’s incredible growth associated with the prospects of
advancing global sustainability. This article delves into the complexities of US China policy
relations and the roles both countries must play in achieving common global goals for the
health of the planet.
7.) Ritter, K. (2012, December 4). U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon Urges Climate Change
Action. Huffington Post. Retreived December 10, 2012 from
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/04/un secretary general climate
Global action to mitigate climate change is of utmost importance, and we’ve been given
several reminders this past year of global warming effects on drastic weather.
8.) Schenck, J. PhD. (2012). Educating Diverse Minds: Using Individual Brain Differences to Teach
and Reach All Learners. Creating Experiential Learning in the Classroom to Reach Diverse
Learners. Learning & the Brain. 33rd Conference. Boston, MA November 16 18, 2012.
Public Information Resources, Inc.
Dr. Shenck explored applications of project based learning to reach a wide spectrum of
students in areas of literature, math, and science. Realistic experiential lessons are
developed with appropriate applications of neuroscience research and through a Syngnosis
model for students with learning differences. Dr. Schenck’s research will be put to use with
the SAS Solar School project, providing a wide array of PK 12 students, including learners in
Academic Support, with hands on learning opportunities.
9.) Siegel, R. (2012, February 1). UN Calls Sustainable Development a Top Priority. Triple Pundit:
People, Planet, Profit. Retrieved December 10, 2012 from
http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/02/calls sustainable development top priority/.
The author provides a brief summary of the UN High Level Panel Global Sustainability’s 99
page report titled, “Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing.”
10.) Singh, T. (2011, June 8). China Says It Will Double Its Solar Power Output By 2015. Inhabit.
Retrieved October 22, 2012, from http://inhabitat.com/china says it will double its solar
power output by 2015/.
This weblog is devoted to the future of design, technology, practices and materials that are
pushing architecture towards a more sustainable future. The article highlights China as one
of the most attractive countries in the world for renewable energy investors, and that China
is well poised to double its solar by 2015 and to 10GW of solar power.
11.) Thomas, J. (2000, March). A Review of Research on Project Based Learning. The Autodesk
Foundation. Retreived December 9, 2012 from http://www.autodesk.com/foundation.
This review contains a wealth of information regarding studies centered on Project Based
Learning, Problem Based Learning, Expeditionary Learning, and results from several multi
year studies.
12.) Vo, D. (2010) Shanghai World Expo to be Powered by Solar Energy. SolarEnergy.Net News.
Retrieved October 22, 2012 from http://www.solarenergy.net/News/19561545 shanghai
world expo to be powered by solar energy.aspx.
This article highlights Suntech Power Holdings 3.12 megawatts of solar power that was
installed for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. Installation of the solar panels is projected to
displace 1,000 tons of coal consumption and 2,500 tons of carbon emissions per year.
13.) Wong, F. (2012, October 20). Chinese Government Mulls Policies to Support Solar Power
Industry. Reuters. Retrieved October 22, 2012, from http://www.reuters.com/
article/2012/10/20/us china solar idUSBRE89J02Z20121020.
This Reuters article discusses the Chinese government’s response to waning solar demand
by the United States and European markets due to anti dumping tariffs placed on solar
manufactured in China and the declining Euro. The article states China has become one of
the world’s biggest markets for solar power and is implementing feed in tariff incentives.
14.) (2011, October 7). Solar Growth Documented on Higher Education Campuses. American
School and University. Retrieved November 27, 2012 from http://asumag.com/
dailynews/aashe solar growth campus 20111001/.
Solar power on higher education campuses has grown 450 percent over the last three
years, according to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher
Education (AASHE). The organization attributes the impressive increase in solar installations
to a 40 percent drop in the installed cost of solar arrays over the last four years, as well as
new financing mechanisms. According to AASHE, 137 megawatts (MW) or the equivalent to
power 40,000 homes, of solar capacity had been installed on higher education campuses by
October of 2011. Since 2009, the median project size has grown six fold, and institutions
have been deploying arrays large enough to provide significant portions of their overall
electricity needs. Solar growth trends on educational campuses are encouraging for the
Million Solar School campaign.
15.) (2010, September). Report to the President. Prepare and Inspire: PK 12 Education in Science,
Technology, Engineering, and Math for America’s Future. Executive Office of the
President. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Retrieved
December 10, 2012 from http://search.yahoo.com/r/_ylt=A0oG
v/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/pcast stemed report.pdf.
16.) (2012, October 8). Suntech and EDP Renovaveis Announce 39 MW Sales Agreement.
Retrieved October 22, 2012 from http://www.solarpanelrebate.com.au/news blog/solar
news/suntech and edp renovaveis announce 39 mw sales agreement.html#more 1815.
This article details a recent deal Suntech and EDP Renovaveis announced. Suntech is the
leading producer of solar panels in the world. The company has offices and manufacturing
in the Yangtze River Delta area. Suntech has produced over 25 million photovoltaic panels.
The company’s mission is to provide reliable access to renewable energy.
17.) (2012, October 10). Suntech Response to Final U.S. DOC Determination. Retrieved October 22,
2012 from http://finance.yahoo.com/news/suntech response final u doc
002300242.html;_ylt=A2KJjbxH3oVQmBIAFnn QtDMD.
This press release is in response to anti dumping tariffs that were implemented recently
that effectively tax Suntech’s crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells 21.19%. The company’s
spokesman took a firm stance stating, “The growth of destructive trade barriers represents
a significant, long term challenge to the health of the solar industry in the U.S. and globally.
Nobody benefits from a global solar trade war except for those who want a less competitive
solar industry.”
18.) (2012, October 22). JinkoSolar and Three Gorges New Energy Sign Contract for 50 Megawatt
Solar Project. Yahoo Finance. Retrieved October 22, 2012 from
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/jinkosolar three gorges energy sign 093000257.html.
This article details how one of the largest state owned power corporations in China, China
Three Gorges Corporation, has signed a deal with JinkoSolar to build a 50 megawatt solar
project in Gansu Province, China.
19.) (2012, November 27). China’s Solar Panel Producers Seeking Revival. China Daily. Retrieved
November 27, 2012 from http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2012
Costs for distributed solar power have reduced to 7 to 8 Yuan per kilowatt hour, regions
rich with solar. JinkoSolar Holding Co Ltd, one of two currently profitable solar panel
manufacturing enterprises among China’s companies listed in the US, began expanding its
domestic market last year. Domestic sales volume now accounts for 30 percent of the
company’s gross sales according to the company’s chief executive officer. JinkoSolar’s
domestic expansion plans can be facilitated by the Million Solar School’s program.
20.) (2012). Solar Energy International 2012 Training Guide. Retrieved November 27, 2012 from
Solar Energy International offers training for PK 12 educators through the “Solar In the
Schools” program. Teaching solar energy to kids is a five day, hands on workshop designed
to train teachers on renewable energy classroom projects while exploring the benefits of
non fossil based energy. Solar Energy International, based in Colorado, is known as one of
the longest running renewable energy education and skills training organizations in the
world. Through outreach programs, SEI works globally with grassroots international
development organizations, and has resources that to build out the curriculum component
to the Million Solar Stars campaign.
21.) (2012). Catalyzing American Ingenuity: The Role of Government in Energy Innovation.
American Energy Innovation Council. AEIC_Catalyzing _Ingenuity_2011.pdf.
The mission of the American Energy Innovation Council is to foster strong
economic growth, create jobs in new industries, and re establish America’s energy
technology leadership through robust, public investments in the development of clean
energy technologies.
Additional References
Shanghai American School. 2013. “A Brief History of Shanghai American School.” Retrieved
March 19, 2013 from http://www.saschina.org/?page= A History_of_SAS
Shanghai American School. 2013. “SAS Annual Report 2011 12.” Retrieved March 19, 2013
from http://www.saschina.org/?page=SASAnnualRpt
Shanghai American School. 2013. “SAS Core Values and Mission.” Retrieved March 19, 2013
from http://www.saschina.org/?page=corevalues_mission
Shanghai American School. 2013. “Home.” Retrieved March 19, 2013 from
Shanghai American School. 2013. “Overview of SAS.” Retrieved March 19, 2013 from Shanghai
American School. 2013. “Technology at SAS.” Retrieved March 20, 2013 from
U.S. Energy Information Administration. 2012. “Economic Growth Continues to Drive China’s
Growing Need for Energy.” Retrieved March 20, 2013 from
The Economist. “Pricing Sunshine.” Retrieved August 30, 2013 from
http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2012/12/ daily chart 19
Inspire the next brilliant solar champion.
Adam Hall
Project Coordinator
[email protected]