Dan Crews of Today's Power (right) explains the operation of a solar panel he helped build to students (from right) Rachel Glenn 17, Cole Jensen, 15 and Caden Carreno, 14, Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at the Don Tyson School of Innovation in Springdale.  (Source North West Arkansas Democrat-Gazette) 

Dan Crews of Today's Power (right) explains the operation of a solar panel he helped build to students (from right) Rachel Glenn 17, Cole Jensen, 15 and Caden Carreno, 14, Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at the Don Tyson School of Innovation in Springdale. (Source North West Arkansas Democrat-Gazette) 

In partnership with Ozarks Electric Cooperative, the school had a new solar panel array installed that will provide energy to the school's lab as well as a project the students are working on called a freight farm. 

The new solar array provides opportunities for the students to learn more about alternative energy, measuring the outcomes between solar and non-solar energy and how to read a digital interface to measure the solar panel array's energy output. 

Students and faculty hope the new solar panel array can power the entirely student run freight farm, which uses a hydroponic farming system capable of growing up to 500 heads of lettuce in a week. Solar energy can help eliminate the farm's carbon footprint by reducing consumption of non-solar energy, said Wade Ward, environmental and spatial technology facilitator. 

Students use the food produced from the farm to give to people affected by food deserts or anyone food insecure throughout Springdale and also provides healthy vegetables for the school lunches in the cafeteria.

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