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Chigago Schools to Get Solar Power from Motorola

At a news conference with Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, the Motorola Foundation today announced that it will fund solar panel installations at the Talcott Fine Arts and Museum Academy and Perspectives/IIT Math & Science Academy to provide experiential learning opportunities for students at both schools. This commitment reinforces the company’s focus on science education and sustainability, and expands its relationship with Chicago Public Schools.

“Motorola has built strong relationships with Talcott Fine Arts and Museum Academy and Perspectives/IIT Math & Science Academy,” said Eileen Sweeney, director, Motorola Foundation. “By continuing to work with Chicago Public Schools and through initiatives like the solar panel installation, we hope to use real-world experiences to inspire students’ interest and involvement in math and science as well as alternative energy solutions.”

Working with the non-profit organization Climate Cycle, the Motorola-funded solar panels will be installed by the end of this year. Part of a one- to two-kilowatt photovoltaic system, the solar panels come with a display showing how much power the panels are providing and when, offering real-time educational observation for the students. Along with daily observation, new lesson plans will include coursework on green and solar technologies, further driving student interest in the field.

Earlier this week, local Motorola employees visited students at both schools as part of the company’s Global Day of Service. At Talcott, the employee volunteers delivered a lesson plan on climate change and renewable energy and taught the students about solar energy through a hands-on project of building and racing miniature solar-powered cars.

In addition to science programming, Motorola announced its continued involvement in Mayor Daley’s Principal for a Day program, currently in its 12th year, which allows business leaders to volunteer their time to serve as principals in Chicago Public Schools. More than 1,100 people from community groups, corporations, celebrities and other individuals are signed up to serve on the Oct. 30 Principal for a Day, including several Motorola leaders.

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