Flower power of a different kind—a flower-shaped solar-powered microgrid, to be precise—stands ready to power a Saskatoon high school, and inspire its students.
“Organizers say the solar flower microgrid feeding the Health and Science Academy at Bishop James Mahoney High School is the first of its kind in Canada,” reports CBC News.
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A five-metre-tall confabulation of cement, metal, and silicon, the aptly named Smartflower responds to its environment in ways very similar to its namesake (or most of them): opening during the day, and closing up at night. “It is also able to detect high winds and will close up to protect itself,” notes CBC.
Ready to be incorporated into the school’s curriculum in the coming year, the Smartflower will be powering students’ imaginative understanding of everything from physics to botany to potential career moves as much as it will supply energy to their school.
The project was made possible through a one-time investment by the Saskatchewan government and has already got students thinking “about careers they never knew existed,” says CBC.
“I think when you have something like this Smartflower to start the conversation, it starts to make students think beyond the classic choices for post-secondary careers,” said Andrea Regier, program lead at the academy.
“It’s literally groundbreaking, you know, in so many ways. And it’s exciting. Certainly empowering… Pun intended there.”