Years 5 to 7 students from Monto and Barcaldine become part of the scientific process at North Keppel Environmental Education Centre.
Years 5 to 7 students from Monto and Barcaldine become part of the scientific process at North Keppel Environmental Education Centre. Christine Mckee

Students to study solar panels

NEW solar panels at North Keppel Island Environmental Education Centre don't just provide plenty of hot showers at the end of a long day in paradise.

The panels, officially launched yesterday by Member for Keppel Bruce Young, were also a research project to determine which were most effective and resistant to the salty environment.

The panels, from three different manufacturers, in six different configurations and a range of materials, were bought with a grant from the Smart Schools Subsidy Scheme.

They will be subject to long-term monitoring to determine their effectiveness over time.

School principal Roger Searl said one design was mounted flat rather than the preferred angle on a rack.

"It's certainly been efficient at making hot water and should be much more resilient to cyclonic weather."

Mr Searl said the school's involvement in comparative research was relatively new and they were working with CQUniversity.

"I think the environmental movement is lacking in science. Science validates and without that everything is a little bit of a guess," he said.

"Students get involved in collecting samples to help drive university research projects.

"We're trying to refocus on the scientific process, in particular the senior biology curriculum.

"They love it. They're able to be part of real research."

Students are "busy, switched on, keen and focussed".



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