Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jose L. Dotres, School Board Member Luisa Santos, Principal Dr. Matthew J. Welker, District representatives and students gathered today to inaugurate a $250,000 solar canopy that Florida Power & Light (FPL) donated to Marine Academy of Science and Technology (MAST) @ Florida International University Biscayne Bay Campus.
“This is the first high-tech solar canopy at one of our schools and it’s tied to the curriculum and we’re very excited about that,” said Dr. Dotres. “This will shield students from the sun during arrival and dismissal times, but it’s also about sustainability, about taking care of the environment and celebrating what we have to do to move into the future.”
The solar canopy generates low-cost, emission-free energy and enhances the school’s marine science and STEM curriculum by providing students with firsthand experience monitoring the canopy’s emissions-free solar energy production and the building’s overall energy consumption. Students will also be able to see variations in energy productions, sunny days versus cloudy days.
MAST@FIU BBC 10th grader Andres Flores was excited about his school’s newest technology.
“This is a good opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint,” he said. “We’re conserving energy and that is good for the environment and good in the long-term for the school.”
This partnership with FPL is part of M-DCPS’s effort to reduce energy consumption across the district. The energy generated from the canopy – about 35,000 watts – will be siphoned directly into the school’s energy grid saving about $5,500 a year in energy costs.
"We hope this solar canopy will help engage students in renewable energy and prepare them for well-paying jobs in the future," said Armando Fernandez, FPL Director of External Affairs for Miami-Dade County.
MAST@FIU BBC is the only public high school in Florida that is located on the campus of a public university. Opened nine years ago, the school is a unique magnet with two indoor environmental labs with aquatic coral reef fish tanks, an open-air environmental classroom and a wetland research observation.
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TOP CAPTION: Pictured center:
Miami-Dade School Board Member Luisa Santos, Schools Superintendent Dr. Jose L.
Dotres and MAST@FIU Biscayne Bay Campus Principal Dr. Matthew J. Welker, are joined
by students and District representatives in the inauguration of the solar panel
donated by FPL.
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