Apr 01, 2014

Feature Story

Panasonic Kids School Eco Learning Program Inspires Hawaii's Future Leaders

To promote Panasonic's global CSR commitment of "Helping Nurture the Next Generation," SANYO North America Corporation (SNA), a member of the Panasonic group, has been reaching out to next-generation leaders by hosting the Panasonic Kids School "Eco Learning Program" at public and private schools throughout the US.

  • Panasonic CSR activities that are deeply rooted in its local business
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    World Heritage Eco Learning Program at the Kilauea Volcanoes National Park in Hilo, Hawaii

On Friday January 10th, 2014, the Eco Learning Program Class titled "Recharge Our Island" was held at one of the UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, the Kilauea Volcanoes National Park in Hilo, Hawaii. The class used Panasonic's eneloop rechargeable batteries as teaching materials, and explained the importance of 3R (Reuse, Recycle, and Reduce) lifestyle. Twenty-eight sixth grade students from Hawai'i Academy of Arts and Science (HAAS), the local public charter school, were invited to participate in this special event. The students first participated in the Panasonic Eco Learning Program presentation lead by SNA's Megumi Marsh, the Corporate Outreach Specialist, and then were invited by park rangers to join the National Park tour alongside the rim of the volcanoes.

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    Learning about the world heritage site
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    The UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, the Kilauea Volcanoes National Park in Hilo, Hawaii

In conjunction with this exciting event at UNESCO World Heritage Site, the rest of the HAAS's students were also treated with Panasonic's special programs. On January 9th, 2014, Panasonic's Hybrid Solar Car Workshop was held at HAAS's campus in Pahoa, Hawai'i where students would put together their own Solar Hybrid Model Car. Seventy students from seventh to twelfth graders paired up to help each other and assembled the Solar Cars, then raced on the hand-made concourse which was made by HAAS's STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students. During the workshop, Marsh explained the Panasonic HIT solar cells and large energy storage system technologies, as well as the importance of choosing renewable energy sources to help offset global climate changes.

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    Hybrid Toy Car Workshop
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    Hybrid Toy Car Workshop
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"Panasonic has been an amazing educational partner for HAAS for the last two years. I have learned a lot myself, including the fact that Panasonic is leading the development of quality Photovoltaic cells and more importantly, the storage of energy generation by intermittent sources like sun, wind and waves. The possibility of storing the energy is the breaking news to me because it will allow the islands like Hawai'i to store renewable energy to stabilize the old grid system", stated Steve Hirakami, the Principal of HAAS.

The program was made possible by strong local partnership with Hawai'i ECO Project (HEP), a key administrator of photovoltaic PPA and Solar Leasing Programs in the State of Hawai'i. HEP coordinated the events in Big Island and also educated students with detailed Hawaii's unique energy situation during the events. "We work with many solar manufacturing companies but the partnership with Panasonic stands out from others because of this educational program. It adds great value to our services, and help gaining trust from our community we serve." Charles Wang, one of the HEP's Principal stressed.

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"Through these grassroots CSR activities, I wish to nurture future Panasonic fans all around the US," states Marsh. The program launched in the US in 2012, and so far, Marsh has taught over 5,000 students in 7 US states in both English and Japanese, promoting Panasonic's sustainable technologies and products to our next-generation leaders.

Related Links:

  • A Gift to the Children - Panasonic Kids School Program

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