Tom Torlakson, the state superintendent of public instruction, visited with Yosemite High students on Tuesday and congratulated them on being awarded the Gold Level of the California Green Ribbon Schools Award.
The award honors schools that conserve resources while promoting environmental literacy.
Torlakson met with students at a home on Marthella Avenue where students are installing solar panels under the supervision of GRID Alternatives, a nonprofit that works with volunteers and job trainees to provide solar power and energy efficiency to low-income families.
Earlier this school year, the schools partnered with GRID to provide on-the-job training for these students in response to parent and community stakeholders’ request for more opportunities in energy and power technical education.
A group of 30 students in the Green Technology Energy and Conservation course, called GTEC for short, learn about energy conservation, lighting standards and how to measure energy. Students put that knowledge into practice by installing solar electric systems in homes.
Torlakson, Merced Union High School District officials, and Yosemite High staff and students celebrated at the high school with a ceremony and refreshments after visiting the home.