Germany

Little Sun’s Little Learners

October 2015

Creating, exploring and even running laps, all in the name of solar!

Little Sun’s Projects Manager Jai Mackenzie fills us in on the latest from her Education Programme, this time partnering with Berlin Bilingual School – getting young students to ask the big questions like ‘what is solar energy?’, ‘why do we need light?’ and ‘what’s inside a Little Sun?’. 

 

The school also generously arranged a charity run this autumn to support Little Sun’s efforts in bringing solar energy to those who need it in off-grid areas. For each lap the students ran, more clean, sustainable energy was ‘generated’!

Hi, I’m Jai McKenzie and I manage Little Sun art and education projects, coming to the role with around 10 years of experience as an artist and educator. I’m a passionate advocate for an educational approach that emphasises learning through artistic thinking, hands-on exploration and experiential play in non-hierarchical classroom environments: fostering co-learning between teachers and students.

 

This year I worked intensively with the team to develop the first Little Sun online educational downloads and programmes for pre-school and primary school age children. When creating the classes we worked to align the programme with the core ethos of Little Sun which we understand as a tangible tool for education that creates links between the energy in your hand, energy that lives in your heart and your thinking around accessing that energy. A little solution that creates big changes.

Once the classes were created, we worked closely with the Berlin Bilingual School, a primary and secondary school local to Little Sun’s HQ, to complete the first in-school trial of the Little Sun Online Education Program. Over 12 weeks, Little Sun worked directly with educators and students in grades one to four on a range of projects which focused on generating knowledge and enthusiasm for living more sustainably, solar energy and global awareness.

 

Little Sun has been welcomed by the community at Berlin Bilingual School and has just completed a project week which saw all school grades involved in a week of Little Sun activities and art projects. Students were visited by Little Sun to discuss the social and environmental aspects of the project and to experience solar energy hands-on: students took apart a Little Sun to see for themselves how portable solar power works. Younger classes also made bright and colorful sun catchers that were displayed on the school’s windows during project week. Older students worked with all the elements necessary to create their own beautiful (and of course environmentally friendly!) solar lanterns.

The week concluded with an amazing display of energy and support for Little Sun as Berlin Bilingual School students participated in a Charity Run. On the day, parents and teachers alike came outside in the chilly autumn weather to cheer the kids on. The event raised enough money to bring a Business Box to power a Little Sun small business in Burkina Faso. Free educational downloads, for all schools and educators, will be available on the Little Sun website in December 2015. If you are interested in finding out more about Little Sun Education please sign-up to our mailing list or contact Little Sun directly.

Thanks to Jai and the Berlin Bilingual School for bringing solar into the classroom! Stay tuned here for more news on our Little Learners, including a solar art exhibition early in the new year!