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Students install solar panels in ‘off-the-grid’ program at Tommy Douglas Collegiate

Solar panels have been installed on the roof of Tommy Douglas Collegiate as part of a new Grade 9 course.
Solar panels have been installed on the roof of Tommy Douglas Collegiate as part of a new Grade 9 course. Devin Sauer / Global News

A group of 16 students at Tommy Douglas Collegiate is helping their school go green.

The off-the-grid program is a new Grade 9 course at Tommy Douglas, which focuses on topics such as climate change and sustainable living.

During the first year, students helped oversee the installation of 12 solar panels on the roof of their school.

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It’s the first time solar panels have been installed at a school in the Saskatoon Public School Division. Currently, the panels produce one-twelfth of a month’s worth of power for the school.

“I think it’s good that we spread awareness and let people know so they can help out. The generation right now is the future,” said Aliya Irvine, a Grade 9 student in the program.

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The panels were funded through grants from the Saskatoon Public Schools Foundation, as well as support from Tommy Douglas Collegiate.

“You have pretty motivated people who want to get into this course,” said Michael Prebble, the instructor of the off-the-grid course. β€œIt’s this nice mix of kids who like working together. They’re engaged and they want to become leaders.”

Prebble said the course helped lay the groundwork for other schools in the divisions to install solar panels.

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The off-the-grid program also runs energy reduction and waste reduction campaigns, as well as a school garden and compost area.

The school plans to install 28 more panels over the next two years.