SolarTree started as a dream. What if there were a way to combine art, environmental consciousness and financial benefits in a single project? After working with kinetic sculpture for more than twenty years, artist Rein Triefeldt had to find out whether his work could transcend the aesthetic to make further, measurable contributions. With SolarTree, the answer to that quest has grown from a small seed of an idea to a fruitful orchard of possibilities.
Founded by Rein, the SolarTree Project is designed to provide students with hands on solar sculpture experiences that encourage innovative thinking and entrepreneurship through the S.T.E.A.M. (science technology, engineering, ART, and math) curriculum-based learning.
The project was first implemented in 2007 at Hillsborough, California and later at Princeton, New Jersey. Currently Rein Triefeldt is working with Dr. John Gould, Drexel University School of Education to develop a “SolarTree” k -12 curriculum that meets and exceeds National and International Standards. Schools presently using the program include the Central Charter School in Florida, Highgate International Schools in Cyprus and the Global Learning Exchange – GKE US/China. Plans are in the works to take the project to Dubai, Turkey, Israel, Ireland and Great Britain. The program is designed to run in a variety of ways; as a classroom(s) activity during school hours, a lunch hour enrichment program, or as a school club.
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