SolarLab Debuts at German American School of Portland, Providing Unique Learning Center for Youth of Region


SolarWorld-sponsored interactive exhibit opens for classroom and other groups

The German American School of Portland has recently opened the doors of SolarLab, a one-of-a-kind interpretive and interactive educational exhibit for classroom and youth groups. The new option for local educational field trips is presented by SolarWorld, the largest and most experienced U.S. manufacturer of crystalline silicon solar power technology.

The laboratory, unveiled at an open house for media representatives and special guests, will enable kids to explore the environmental urgency of harnessing the sun’s clean, inexhaustible energy as well as the history, physics and applications of solar technology. Featuring interactive, graphic and light-activated elements, SolarLab will be available to youth at the German American School, 3900 S.W. Murray Blvd. in Beaverton, as well as schools and other organizations elsewhere in the region.

"SolarLab showcases the simple wonder of combining sunlight with silicon to generate electricity using technology that is free of emissions, moving parts or maintenance," said Bob Beisner, vice president of SolarWorld Industries America. "In visiting SolarLab’s inventive exhibits, we hope children enjoy a chance to cultivate their curiosity about an energy solution literally falling down all around us from the sun."

The exhibit is the second phase of a project to showcase solar power at the school. In partnership with Portland General Electric, Bonneville Environmental Foundation and Energy Trust of Oregon, SolarWorld donated 46 solar panels for a 7.8-kilowatt system on the school roof and façade in 2009. SolarWorld has supported both phases in appreciation of the school’s role in bridging language and cultural differences as the Germany-based company established its 97-acre site and U.S. headquarters in Hillsboro.

The German American School is one of six schools in the United States accredited by the German government. About 165 students from pre-school to fifth grade and representing families from more than 20 nations attend the school.

About the German American School of Portland ( The German American School of Portland is one of only a handful of German American schools in the country. Twenty-five percent of its students are from German-speaking households, while the other 75 percent are from households where English or a third language is spoken. More than 20 nationalities are represented at the school and students come from all parts of the Portland metro area, including Estacada, Lake Oswego, Banks and Portland. The school’s mission is to provide an excellent educational experience for students while developing and maintaining fluency in both the German and English languages. Its curriculum meets academic requirements of both Oregon and the Federal Republic of Germany.

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