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Kyocera's Eco Lessons, Teaching Children about Solar Energy
Kyocera Corporation (President: Makoto Kawamura) is pleased to announce that it is this month holding Solar Environment Classes, "Eco Lessons", at five schools in Shiga Prefecture, home to the company's main solar production base, and the center of its solar energy business. The lessons have been designed to heighten interest and understanding with the coming generation in solar energy, the "electricity generation technology that does not produce greenhouse gases."
Kyocera has been sponsoring environmental awareness activities with elementary and junior high school students since the completion of its new headquarters in Kyoto in 1998, with observation tours of the solar power generation systems (total output of 214kW) which are installed at the building.
In 2002, the Kyoto Chamber of Commerce and Industry launched a project to offer environmental classes to elementary school children and Kyocera was invited to join the project through dispatching its employees as instructors. Soon after, requests for the instructors started coming directly from schools genuinely interested in environmental issues and energy education. Since, employees from the Solar Energy Division have served as instructors in Eco Lessons at primary schools in Kyoto, and throughout Japan.
Since the project started, more than 2,500 children have gained the opportunity to think about the global environment through lessons on solar energy. Kyocera receives essays from children who have taken the lessons, describing their dreams regarding a society based on clean energy. Today, these essays have become an invaluable asset to the employees involved in Kyocera's solar energy business.
"At Kyocera, we greatly value the opportunity to talk to children about solar energy," says Norio Nakamura, Solar Energy Division, Kyocera Corporation. "In the lessons, children climb onto actual solar modules to feel how durable they are, and are given various solar toys, which introduce them to the "mystery" of how light from the sun is converted into electrical energy. Together with the children, we learn about electricity, energy, and manufacturing with the sun, a source of limitless energy, and solar cells, which utilize that energy.
"We will continue our commitment to environmental education. Through the lessons, we seek to convey the usefulness of solar cells and the benefits of environmentally-friendly solar cells along with helping the children to realize the importance of the global environment issue."
June 5 has been designated by the UN as World Environment Day, to commemorate the UN Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm in June 1972. June 5 is also designated as Environment Day in Japan, with an aim of raising awareness of the global environment. In 1991, the Environment Ministry designated June as Environment Month, and has taken various related initiatives.
Kyocera staff are pleased to participate in these activities not only as members of an environmentally-friendly corporation, but as instructors sharing their experience with students to encourage scientific thinking, an awareness of environmental issues and an interest in environmental activities and technologies.