Solar One’s K-12 Education Program – Green Design Lab™ – promotes experiential learning opportunities through science, technology and design. Solar One’s programs increase environmental knowledge about Energy, Water, Materials Science and Food, while fostering sustainable behaviors and stewardship. Using the school and urban environment as a learning laboratory, Solar One’s K-12 programs introduce students to hands-on real world experience, support the development of creative thinking and problem solving skills, and turn students into advocates for sustainability projects in their schools.

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During Green Design Lab™ programs, Solar One educators work with teachers and students to deliver its curriculum, provide professional development, support school-wide sustainability projects, and engage with the entire school community to reduce energy use through schoolwide energy challenges.

Working with over 800 schools, 2,500 teachers, and 19,000 students in NYC and beyond, Green Design Lab™ participants:

  • Design and innovate, applying STEM skills to solve environmental challenges
  • Use the school building as a learning laboratory to take action to reduce energy use
  • Learn about emerging technologies: from solar and smart grid to biomimicry and bioswales

CleanTech, Solar One’s high school curriculum, generously funded by the National Science Foundation, engages students in hands-on explorations of emerging clean technologies and sustainability-related policy and economic issues at the local, national and global levels. CleanTech is designed to inspire the next generation of green engineers, scientists, architects, building system managers, energy auditors, economists and entrepreneurs. Solar One received the NSF STEM for All video showcase facilitator’s choice award for our video about the CleanTech program.

Through the Green Design Lab Sustainable Schools Network, teachers from near and far are provided with educational re­sources to green their courses and school buildings. Membership in the Sustainable Schools Network pro­vides access to curriculum, technical support, discounted toolkits, tutorials for hands-on activities, and more.

Solar One is the go-to organization for leveraging the growing solar field to catalyze STEM education. We partner with the NYC Department of Education (DOE) to deliver the NYC Solar Schools Education Program and the NY Power Authority to deliver the NYS K-Solar Education Program.

In 2016, Solar One was selected as the founding partner organization to deliver the NYCDOE Careerclue program, a summer intensive program that blends foundational academics, career exploration, personal development and service learning projects at Community Schools. Our program has doubled in size and our Education team spends the summers engaging high school students in hands-on learning, field trips, career activities, and projects to green their schools.

To learn about our offerings, including, professional development for teachers, in-school residencies, our Sustainable Schools Network, and much, much more, visit:

NSF STEM for All video showcase facilitator’s choice award for our video about the CleanTech program

Alex teaching at Green Design Lab

boilerGreen Design Lab students examine a boiler


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100% of teachers surveyed said they would recommend the program to other schools.

[blockquote]“The electricity project making light was the most exciting. This made me consider studying engineering.”
–Juan, 11th Grade
[blockquote]“I would like to continue learning about these topics after high school, maybe take an environmental science class or join a club. I had a great time learning (wow, I think that’s the first time I ever said that =)”
–Nicole, 12th Grade[/blockquote][hr]
[blockquote]“Making batteries, testing building materials, making the thermal water heater– all of the activities were great. This was, by far, the best PD I’ve ever attended. This had activities that are so relevant and applicable, and also things kids will enjoy doing. I will integrate some of these into my classes next year.”
–NYC School Teacher, Attended Solar One PD Workshop[/blockquote][hr/]