Program Description

PG&E and We Share Solar are partnering for a fourth year of the Solar Suitcase Program to bring a fully funded, local and global STEM project to classrooms in central and northern California. The program blends engineering skills, with sustainable energy lessons and local and international philanthropy. Please take a moment to read the following information and contact me if you have further questions. 

Learn about the program

The PG&E Solar Suitcase Program, part of the PG&E Foundation's Better Together Giving Program, empowers 8th-12th grade students to build We Share Solar® Suitcases. The program places special emphasis on leveraging a hands-on and humanitarian approach to engage youth traditionally under-represented in STEM fields.

By combining hands-on engineering education with real-world applicability teachers cultivate students’ interests in clean energy and inspire them to meet an immediate societal need by delivering solar energy to local communities and areas of need in the developing world.

We Share Solar® Suitcases are small, portable photovoltaic lighting systems, powerful enough to illuminate a classroom. Through this program, participating educators will be trained to teach youth how to build Solar Suitcases that will be delivered to energy-scarce regions of the world.  

Benefits to participating in the PG&E Solar Suitcase Program:

• Training and Equipment: Teachers receive professional development training and over $7,000 of equipment to provide students with an engaging, flexible STEM program.
• Leadership: Students demonstrate environmental leadership skills by designing and completing a local Solar Suitcase deployment project to benefit their community.
• Global Impact: Students build We Share Solar® Suitcases that each eliminate 6.45 tons of CO2 per year from the atmosphere and provide light for students to study and community businesses to thrive.
• Solar Suitcase Deployment: Schools build two Solar Suitcases for deployment. One for international installation and one for domestic placement in local communities. 
• Engagement: The hands-on and humanitarian approach attracts non-traditional STEM students.
• Program Visibility: Schools receive support from PG&E’s communications team to highlight their students’ innovation to local media outlets.
• Emergency Preparedness: Each classroom set of suitcases increases a school’s emergency preparedness by doubling as a portable charging, lighting and communication source during disasters.

Application Deadline:

Applications due by May 30th, 2018 
Applicants will be notified by June 8th, 2018

Professional Development Dates and Location:

One teacher from each selected site must attend both days. All accommodations, breakfast, and lunch included. Mileage reimbursement for those traveling over 100 miles to the training site.

Dates: August 1-2, 2018

Location: PG&E Energy Training Center, 3136 Boeing Way, Stockton

Local Community Deployment Option:

Each selected school/ organization will get the option to build one of the Solar Suitcases to deploy in their local community. If a site chooses this option, teachers will work with students to develop a deployment plan. They will collaborate with a community partner, create a design using the Solar Suitcase to fit that partner’s sustainable energy needs and then will oversee the placement of the Solar Suitcase at the local community site. Teachers and students will receive consultation and technical support from We Share Solar throughout the process. Examples of local community placements: native tribal lands to provide electricity for student and elder housing, interim homeless encampment, outdoor educational programs, first responder mobile units.

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