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Students for Sustainability Tout KU’s Solar Benches

Students for Sustainability Tout KU’s Solar Benches

In partnership with Kentucky Utilities (KU) and Fayette County Public Schools, students in the Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council (BYSC) are celebrating the installation of solar benches at campuses around Lexington. “We’re a sustainability activist organization, and we’re trying to make life a little greener,” said co-facilitator Jocelyn Davenport of Henry Clay High School.

The metal benches, which are customized in each school’s main color, feature a 30-watt poly-crystalline solar panel and two dual USB rapid-charge ports. “It’s a resting spot for students where they can charge their devices,” Jocelyn said, citing solar energy in practice.

The gift has been well-received at Leestown Middle School, where people can conveniently replenish cellphones and Chromebooks. “These benches are really helpful for students, and they use the sun so there’s no pollution,” said eighth grader Sydney McGill of the Leestown Green Team.

This is the third year of sponsorship by KU, progressing from initial emails to recent implementation. In addition to Leestown Middle, the company has placed benches outside Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Frederick Douglass High School, Lafayette High School, STEAM Academy, Locust Trace Agriscience Center, and SCAPA at Bluegrass, as well as Lexington Catholic High School and Sayre Upper Center. “We feel solar energy is important, and it’s good for the students to see how useful it can be,” said KU’s Daniel Lowry, who called the benches a teaching tool.

The BYSC hopes to secure benches for as many Fayette schools as possible. “It’s so cool to see people using solar energy and sustainability at their school for the first time,” Jocelyn added.

Contact: Tresine Logsdon, energy & sustainability curriculum coordinator for FCPS, (859) 619-6472

three girls sitting and one girl standing behind the maroon metal bench outside Leestown Middle School
close-up of a phone setting on the back of the bench with white cord connected to a USB charging port
two teenage white girls sitting on maroon bench outside Leestown Middle
a Bryan Station High School student sits on a green solar bench using her phone while it's plugged in to charge