On August 21, 2012, Panasonic and Major League Baseball team Seattle Mariners collaborated to host a group of 20 students ages 11 to 16 and their teachers from Seattle's South Park Community Center the Panasonic Kids School, Eco Learning Program to showcase the company's environmental products, such as the stadium's recent 168-panel, 32.76-kilowatt Panasonic HIT solar installation. The activities were a part of an annual evening program as a tribute to Japan called "Salute to Japan Night."
To start up the learning program, Scott Jenkins, head of stadium operations, introduced their sustainable ballpark operation programs. The Mariners recycle over 80% of all waste generated at Safeco Field, and have significantly reduced consumption of electricity, water and natural gas.
- Panasonic's Eco Learning Presentation (by Megumi Marsh, Outreach Program Specialist)
- Seattle Mariner's Ballpark Sustainability Efforts (by Scott Jenkins, VP of Ballpark Operations)
"The Mariners are making environmental initiatives and efforts to green our stadium, and we feel that the Panasonic solar panels we installed in April send that message loud and clear to the environmentally conscious population here in Seattle, as well as baseball community," said Jenkins.
Next, the Panasonic Kids School; Eco Learning Program class, hosted by Megumi Marsh of SANYO North America Corporation, taught students about generating and storing clean, renewable energy by showcasing the Panasonic's Kasai Green Energy Park in Hyogo, Japan. The students experienced the importance of using renewable energy sources through fun, hands-on experiments using portable solar chargers and rechargeable batteries. They also had an opportunity to view and touch the solar panel manufacturing raw materials, such as Polycrystalline silicon rocks, ingot tale, and cropped solar cells which were shipped from SANYO Solar of Oregon L.L.C., a manufacturing plant for solar panel wafer and ingot in Salem Oregon.
Some of the thoughts from the participants....
"Renewable Energy concept is not something we lean at school curriculums, thus the class was very interesting and helpful to become more environmentally conscious. I would like to research more myself, so I can talk about this topic to my parents," a student who participated the program expressed.
Also a teacher said "I had no idea that Panasonic is the manufacture of solar panels with highest conversion efficiency. I've learned new things today. The company's technologies are amazing; I wish to visit Kasai Green Energy Park in Japan someday."
After the class, the students were brought on a tour of the solar installation on Safeco Field's skybridge, a walkway that connects the parking garage to the stadium that has been generating clean power since April to learn about environmental and economical benefits of installing the Panasonic's HIT Double (two-sided) solar panels.
"The opportunity to reach out to the next generation and introduce them to our unique technologies and products is an important investment in making a new generation of fans for the Panasonic brand," said Koshi Terakawa, President of Panasonic Eco Solutions Energy Management North America (PESEMNA). "By working together with a Major League Baseball team, we are able to appeal our efforts in environmental technology to raise awareness of the brand and improve our position."
- Sign and Photo session by Mariners former player, Dave Henderson
The students were also able to meet former star outfielder, Dave Henderson. Mr. Henderson played for the Mariners from 1981-1986 and was in the World Series four times during his career from 1981-1994. He was available on site for photographs and autographs for the students.
To close out the night, the students were treated to dinner at the stadium and provided tickets to see the game, Seattle Mariners vs. Cleveland Indians, which the Mariners won 5-1.
The "Salute to Japan Night" included a strong appeal for the Panasonic brand as well. In addition to a premium set of Panasonic-branded trading cards that were given to the first 15,000 fans, the digital signage at the stadium also featured the Panasonic logo prominently. Furthermore, the printed in-stadium program magazine featured Panasonic products.
About the Eco Learning ProgramThe Eco Learning Program promotes a lifestyle based on renewable energy focusing on solar and large-scale battery storage to support the business group's overall efforts. The program has provided approximately 70 classes in North America to more than 2,100 students since first launching in 2010.