Solar One Newark
Solar One partners with the Newark Mayor’s Office and NewarkWorks Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) to deliver Green Career Explorations which is a paid summer program that blends green career readiness with hands-on activities, field trips, and local environmentally focused service learning projects.
The program launched during summer 2019 for a group of high school age Newark youth. During the pilot program, participants had the opportunity to visit Down Bottom Farms, a PSE&G Substation, Covanta, and go on a tour of the watershed.
Youth participants designed and executed a service learning project focused on ending litter in Newark with support from Keep America Beautiful- Newark, and presented their projects to city officials and other guests at Rutgers University at the end of the program. Solar One is looking forward to another Summer Green Career Explorations program in 2020.
Climate Education Program
Through GDL, Solar One delivers STEM-focused environmental education programming in Newark, reaching thousands of students and teachers with crucial environmental sustainability and climate change awareness education, and clean energy sector career readiness that supports the building of a strong, equitable economy.
Collaborating with Newark Public Schools
Solar One launched our environmental STEM education program in Newark in early 2017, and it has been growing exponentially since. Solar One provides professional development training for middle and high school science teachers in collaboration with the Newark Board of Education, essential as New Jersey public school students are the first in the country required to learn about climate change in the classroom. Teachers participate in hands-on training exploring solar power as a renewable energy source, climate change issues, and energy efficiency; and they have the opportunity to take home materials toolkits with small solar panels to bring hands-on activities to their students.
In addition to training science teachers, Solar One collaborated with Central High School (CHS) to support the launch of the first Environmental Studies Career and Technical Education (CTE) Academy in Newark. In 2018, we co-taught a semester-long solar and energy science course that is now offered as part of the curriculum at the school.
In 2023, Solar One began providing Solar CTE programming to students at Technology High School, Barringer High School, and Malcolm X Shabazz High School.
Summer Green Career Exploration
In partnership with the Newark Summer Youth Employment Program, we implement an annual 6-week full time educational internship for youth. The program’s goal is to help students gain the environmental STEM knowledge and career skills they need to succeed in 21st Century jobs and in post-secondary education. This program includes hands-on environmental science lessons, field trips, and a culminating service learning project that students present to each other and City officials.
The Newark Resilient Solar Initiative
Most recently, Solar One was awarded a multi-year Environmental Literacy Program grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the Newark Resilient Solar Initiative. Supporting youth to be change agents in their communities, it focuses on emergency preparedness in this extremely vulnerable area at risk of severe environmental hazards. Through NOAA funding we will work closely with the Newark Office of Sustainability and expand our high school career exploration programs substantially, reaching 220 students with hard-skills solar training and climate education.
The aim of Solar One’s Newark Resilient Solar Initiative is to educate Newarkers on solutions to local climate and environmental hazards, provide Newark youth with paid workforce training and leadership development opportunities, and support goals of pre-existing resilience plans through community engagement and capacity building. Solar One and its partners will work exclusively with the residents of Newark, particularly communities most vulnerable to climate impacts.