Introduction

Solar for Schools Bildung [Solar for Schools Bildung gGmbH], (www.solarbildung.org), was founded in Munich, Germany in 2021 to combine the use of solar energy with hands-on educational materials and tools to equip children with a solid understanding of sustainable climate adaptation through a focus on STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), along with expansion to languages and ethics. The not-for-profit Solar for Schools Bildung is the educational branch of the international organization of Solar for Schools.

Their Story

Utilizing real-life solar panel systems as an educational instrument, Solar for Schools Bildung materials and tools enable action-based learning about energy, environment, regeneration, and decarbonization within classrooms and through independent learning. Self-developed photovoltaic (the process of turning sunlight into energy) learning games and experiments form the basis for the curriculum and workshops designed for all school types, grade levels, and subjects such as STEM, geography, and ethics.

Solar for Schools Bildung considers photovoltaic systems at schools to be educational tools in the broadest sense. Technical maintenance and inspections are integrated into the curriculum. Because not every school has a solar installation, a photovoltaic teaching tool system was developed for realistic use, allowing schools to build and operate it with students. Any school can join the program. For schools without solar panels, Solar for Schools Bildung offers a suitable cost-neutral photovoltaic system.

The company’s vision is that these experiences and insights gained at a young age resonate in adulthood, empowering young adults to handle energy responsibly and with appreciation. Solar for Schools Bildung aims to provide students with the foundation to recognize local and global challenges and develop creative solutions.
 

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Their Goal

Most people are aware of the impact climate change can have on our daily lives. Many believe the increase of extreme weather phenomena across the world is a trend likely to intensify to a point of no-return if carbon emissions are not reduced to zero by the year 2050 (the United Nations net zero goal). While the move to clean energy is an obvious step in the right direction, education is also considered a key element to bringing about fundamental changes in society. Solar for Schools Bildung gives schools the opportunity to both provide clean energy and the teaching on the topic, making the energy transition a reality for schools and tangible to students.

The Solar for Schools Bildung team creates educational content, school materials, video tutorials, and experiment kits focusing on solar energy and renewable energies. Experiments typically play a central role in any good physics class. Students are motivated and inspired by the hands-on experiments that Solar for Schools Bildung provides. For the first time, step-by-step video tutorials now accompany materials to help students set up and conduct the experiments. Numerous schools and educational institutions already benefit from the advantages of the comprehensive concept of hands-on photovoltaics.

For schools interested in going solar, Solar for Schools Bildung offers a turn-key project for school buildings. The organization takes care of the design, project development, and installation, as well as the operations and maintenance for the lifecycle of the system . Solar for Schools Bildung also has the ability to organize project funding through their social impact-focused Community Benefits Society.

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Their Challenge

As the organization is especially concerned with the environment and responsible energy use, Solar for Schools Bildung sought sustainable data storage to store, produce, backup and archive video footage and their creative marketing work. Multiple video tutorials are designed and recorded for the self-developed experiment sets. Additionally, product and project photos are taken, spanning topics from natural phenomena to school lessons and events. The data generated during video production is substantial. Backups and the creation of different versions further increase storage needs.

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Their Solution

Solar for Schools Bildung now utilizes refurbished, redeployed Seagate Exos® hard drives, demonstrating both companies’ commitment to a circular economy.

“As a non-profit organization, we focus on simplicity in everything we do,” said Dr. Marc Batschkus, a member of the Solar for Schools Bildung team. “This also applies to the workflow in creating educational videos. We record simultaneously with two cameras to later select the best perspective. The goal is to capture the processes clearly with as few takes as possible.”

Immediately after the recording is complete, files are copied to a fast solid-state drive (SSD) and then a hard drive to obtain three copies of all media files as backup. Additionally, the organization maintains a backup copy of their entire Dropbox folder on a Seagate disk. This offline copy serves as a collaboration hub.

Refurbished Seagate hard drives support the school’s sustainability goals. Video and photo editing, color correction, sound design, and music come together to create the final product. These massive datasets are also transferred using Seagate refurbished hard drives.

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Their Success

Since Solar for Schools Bildung focuses on supporting all aspects of sustainability, the use of reconditioned Seagate hard drives is fitting. The company believes Seagate offers the highest quality storage for their large quantities of video and media files—including reused hard drives, in the storage of their large quantities of video and media files, which are stored but not accessed 24×7.

“We explicitly support the reuse and extended lifespan of storage media,” said Matthias Schmuderer, M.S.E., managing director of Solar for Schools Bildung. “Especially in the education sector, there is a win/win situation with Seagate’s low-cost and large-capacity drives. With the same costs, institutions can store larger amounts of data. We find Seagate’s commitment to complete circular economy particularly commendable.”

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Seagate Circularity Program

Seagate is working to revolutionize how we consume and dispose of electronic devices by ensuring products have a longer lifespan through repair, refurbishment, component extraction, and material recovery. The company urges moving away from the old “take-make-waste” model that has wreaked havoc on our environment. With a touch of ingenuity and a dash of determination, Seagate is spearheading positive changes in the circular economy.

At Seagate, we build hard drives to last and believe in the positive impact of the circular economy and the potential of giving hard drives and SSDs a second life. However, this commitment to sustainability goes beyond just refurbishment and circularity. The company invests significantly in research and development to create breakthrough technologies that maximize the value that customers can derive from their data. These innovative technologies also extend the lifecycles of Seagate’s products, ensuring better data durability and security, and storing more data using new technology with less resources. Such breakthrough technology allows Seagate to embark on a more sustainable and cost-effective data journey alongside its customers. The longer a drive continues doing its job, the longer it stays out of a landfill.

“Extending the lifespan of hard drives through refurbishment saves a staggering 275 times more CO2 than recycling the components and reduces the number of drives we need to make a year.”

Dave Mosley
Chief Executive Officer, Seagate

Seagate’s commitment to product integrity is a key component of the company’s efforts to create a sustainable datasphere. Now, more than ever, the entire data management infrastructure of the industry needs to be reevaluated with sustainability in mind. It’s time for industry players to take responsibility and embrace measures that promote a sustainable data economy.

The Seagate Circularity Program provides the much-needed guarantee that drives can be securely erased, allowing them to be returned to use. The engagement from industry players has already begun, but now it’s time to take it to the next level. Seagate urges the entire ecosystem of technology stakeholders to come together, innovate, and elevate the industry’s overall commitment to sustainability.

The Seagate Circularity Program is leading the way in revolutionizing the consumption and disposal of electronic storage devices. With its commitment to extending product life, minimizing environmental waste, and driving innovation, Seagate is setting a prime example for the industry. The circular economy is not only environmentally beneficial, but it also presents immense economic opportunities.

“Seagate urges the entire ecosystem of technology stakeholders to come together, innovate, and elevate the industry’s overall commitment to sustainability.”

B.S. Teh
Chief Commercial Officer/EVP, Sales and Marketing, Seagate

Especially in the education sector, there is a win/win situation with Seagate’s low cost and large capacity drives. With the same costs, institutions can store larger amounts of data. We find Seagate’s commitment to complete circular economy particularly commendable.

Matthias Schmuderer

Managing Director, Solar for Schools Education

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