Trinity High School Uses Smartflowers to Support Students and CommunitySep 04, 2019
Trinity High School believes in using technology to address and solve real-world problems, which is why they installed three Smartflowers on their campus in Washington, Pennsylvania earlier this spring. The Trinity Area School District received funding from the Local Share Account (LSA) grant that provided a way to purchase their very own Smartflowers as well as their wind turbine project.
While Trinity High School’s Administration researched other options for solar, such as traditional rooftop static solar panel systems, the Smartflower was ultimately chosen. “We decided to pursue the dynamic Smartflower to incorporate more technology and expand the curricular basis as well as career options for students,” said Donald Snoke, Assistant Superintendent of the Trinity Area School District.
Trinity High School’s Smartflowers aren’t just used as a clean energy power source—they’re used as an educational tool for students. The Smartflowers have been integrated into the school’s curriculum in order to benefit AP students, college prep students, and students who plan on attending tech and trade schools or are entering directly into the vocational arena. Courses such as AP Environmental Science, Physics, Industrial Technology, and Vocational Agriculture will utilize Smartflower technology as part of their curricular focus. “The rigor and relevance of the secondary curriculum have expanded greatly. The bar has been raised and our students, staff and community members have been the beneficiaries,” said Snoke.
The three Smartflowers are also used to give back to their community, producing energy to supplant the energy consumption in the Trinity High School Freight Farm. The Freight Farm produces 1200 heads of lettuce per week, all of which is donated to the greater Washington County Food Bank. “The belief that we are utilizing technology to solve problems, much like an engineer does, is intriguing,” said Snoke, “We are being viewed as the innovators in our county and state.”
Reactions from the students, faculty, staff, and community have been highly positive. Local businesses have been exploring the possible applications of the Smartflower in different industries, while David Volkman, the Assistant Secretary from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, was highly impressed by the integration of Smartflowers into Trinity High School’s curriculum during his visit and stated that the Trinity High School model should be applied throughout the state of Pennsylvania.
“Our Smartflowers are extremely important for the Trinity Area School District,” said Snoke, “Our students, faculty, and staff are stunned and excited, and the community has taken notice of the innovative direction the Trinity Area School District is taking… Our Smartflowers are a definite source of pride and accomplishment for the members of the Trinity Area School District.”
Donald Snoke, Assistant Superintendent, with one of the Trinity High School Smartflowers