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The Sun Will Come Out Many Tomorrows for Stanwich School

Stanwich School students, from left, Declan Long, Blake Newcomer, Cameron Paradiso, William Plummer, Lulu Brauer, Caroline Bennett, Kirsty Winn, Eliza Stein and Mark Levitov. Photo credit: Barbara Heins.
Stanwich School students, from left, Declan Long, Blake Newcomer, Cameron Paradiso, William Plummer, Lulu Brauer, Caroline Bennett, Kirsty Winn, Eliza Stein and Mark Levitov. Photo credit: Barbara Heins.

Original story: Jan. 21, 2014.
The sun was shining on Stanwich School students in more than one way on Friday.

As a blinding sun blazed through the windows of the gymnasium on the Stanwich Road campus Jan. 17, the students intently listened to a presentation by Tom Loredo, managing director of Renewable Resources, about the benefits of solar panels harnessing the sun's energy.

The topic wasn't an unfamiliar one for the students. They had participated in the Town of Greenwich’s Solarize Greenwich contest. What the students didn't know was that they had 'rocked' the contest and won. The prize — a solar energy panel to be installed at the school to help defray electric bills.

According to the school, students in Stanwich’s Intermediate House — grades four through six — recently gathered in mixed age groups and brainstormed ideas to generate awareness about the power of solar energy. In collaboration, the students came up with 12 presentations, and the school administration chose one entry to represent the students’ work.

A student-written song, Solar Energy, set to the tune by Queen of We Will Rock You, won the competition. The winning submission was the work of Stanwich fourth-graders: William Plummer, Caroline Bennett, Eliza Stein; fifth-graders: Lulu Brauer, Declan Long, Mark Levitov; and sixth-graders: Cameron Paradiso, Blake Newcomer and Kirsty Winn.

First Selectman Peter Tesei said, “Congratulations on putting forth a creative and inspirational tune to promote solar energy.”

Stanwich School’s Lower School Science Chair, Amy Kerekes, headed up the school’s submission effort along with sixth-grade teacher Jenn Giametta. “The students’ creativity really shone through with this project. Not only did the children come up with original songs, posters and skits, there was even one submission of a bitstrip comic,” said Kerekes.

In collaboration with Renewable Resources, Inc., the Town of Greenwich selected Stanwich to receive a 10 panel 2.45 KW solar photovoltaic array system, which is being donated by Renewable Resources, that will include an active monitoring system so that the teachers and students will be able to view the performance of the system any time. Renewable Resources rep Loredo said, “We were so impressed by your song. You all did a fantastic job.”

“Stanwich is thrilled to receive this solar system and add it to our STEM efforts. The panels, along with the online analytic monitoring device, will serve as outstanding instructional tools to help our children be ever more mindful stewards of our precious planet,” said head of school Paul Geise.

Here are the lyrics of the students' song "Solar Energy" and a link to hear them perform it:

The Stanwich School is using electricity,
We need a substitute, and that’s okay.

We have the sun making energy, and we gotta use it,
There’s too much pollution and we have a solution.
 
Solar, solar, energy, energy
Solar, solar, energy, energy

Solar panels will give us fuel
We will use them, and that’s real cool.

To make the environment a better place,
And take advantage of the sun in space. 
 

Solar, solar, panels, panels
Solar, solar, panels, panels

We need solar panels! 
Editor's note: This story was updated to include the song lyrics and link to hear the students perform the song.

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