Project Earth earns $1000 for solar energy video project

Emma Bailey, page editor

Edina brags for being home to the best of the best, and Project Earth is no exception. For several years, the club acts to ensure that Edina High School remains environmentally friendly and this year club members have gone above and beyond to create a spark for change.

Project Earth wanted to start the year off as productively as possible, so they began searching for ways in which they could get involved. Clean Energy Resource Teams and Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association was hosting a video contest which encouraged students to create a video highlighting ways in which solar energy can be integrated into our community. “I thought it would be a fun way to bring the group together at the beginning of the year, and I think it really brought us closer because we all had to work together to get votes and put the final product together,” junior Natalie Swanson, Project Earth’s President, said.

Edina Project Earth

All 30 group members created a video that incorporates different natural settings around Edina, solar panels at City Hall, and the voices of several group members. The video speaks to why it is important to take notice of the potential impact that our youth can have on the environment. “It’s not just what’s happening now, it’s the future,” junior Tommy Wertwijn, a member whose Passion Project ⎯ a project that sophomores complete centered around an important social issue ⎯ sparked his interest in joining the club, said. The video focuses on why solar energy is an important step in the preservation of our environment.

The group had a very short amount of time to make the video but expressed that their collaboration made the process much smoother. Because of this time crunch, their creative process was somewhat confined: “we wanted to go to City Hall because they have solar panels on their roof and we wanted to get that in our video, but instead we just took some photos from their [website],” Wertwijn said.

Despite their constraints, Project Earth’s “The Generation For Solar” video won the contest by a margin of almost 90 votes. The club is extremely excited to use the $1000 grant for the first place winner in order to help further acquaint EHS with environmental friendliness. Club members will be attending the MnSEIA conference on Nov. 15 to accept the award.

Project Earth plans on using the grant for some of their priority projects this year, which include smaller solar demos, recycling efforts at EHS, and other spontaneous environmental opportunities that come up throughout the year. Though the group has yet to draft an official project for the funds, they are sure that the money will stay within the club and be used to improve Edina’s communal environmental involvement.