Learn by cooperating

To have the students as the protagonists of their learning and with the necessary awareness to contribute to a better and sustainable world. With these concepts, the Northeast Renewable Energy Cooperative (Coodensol) took renewable energy generation into the classroom, in the countryside of Ceará.

Willing to contribute to the strengthening of the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda – composed of 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including the generation of clean and renewable energy – the cooperative decided to implement the culture of “learn by doing it” at the Padre Arimatéia Diniz High School.

To train students and teachers in the development of projects focused on the generation of clean energy, the cooperative invested R$3,600 thousand in the acquisition of specific equipment for the implementation of a mini photovoltaic solar energy plant in an off-grid system – also known as isolated system (with batteries) – which operates disconnected from the power grid and is widely used in rural areas and regions with difficult access.

With the implementation of the project, the students gained practical knowledge not only about energy, but also about the various components needed for this energy to be produced and reach the citizens’ homes. They also began to participate in external events, presenting their results in the form of scientific research, and were awarded prizes for their contributions and studies in the area of engineering and natural sciences.

In addition to the knowledge in the area of energy, there was also an incentive to produce vegetables in the own school. The students’ production started to be used in the school’s kitchen, improving the quality of the snacks and meals offered to the students. Moreover, the cooperative members had the opportunity to perform a voluntary social service and to realize in the participating students a readiness to work in the renewable energy sector. Some students were hired for internships at the cooperative at the end of high school, and today are helping to build a more sustainable future for all.

Given the success of the initiative, Coodensol is already preparing to develop its own educational branch. They have realized, in practice, that the formation of a new, more aware generation is fundamental to mitigate the advance of global warming.