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Subcategories from this category: Education

Posted by on in Outreach

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A visit to South Africa's game reserves is incomplete without spotting the Big Five - lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhinoceros. Yet, with a surge in rhino poaching leading to possible extinction, South Africa could be left with just the Big Four. That's not a sunny outcome. 

Intent on protecting the rhino, we learnt of an initiative to fundraise for RhinoSA - lead by a group of savvy 12 year olds. Suntoy donated 50 Consol Solar Jars to these scholars and they sold them at their school. They made a donation to RhinoSA at their Enviro Assembly in front of the National Geographic film crew. There is a huge demand for the Consol Solar Jar at their school now, so Suntoy is donating more jars to these budding fundraisers.

Their teacher, Mr Hansen, emailed us: "I would like to thank the children for their participation and congratulate them on their contribution to save the South African rhino. I applaud their innovative thinking and practical approach. I would also like to express my gratitude to their parents, who have awakened in them a sense of responsibility for their environment and the animals and people in it."

Well done Gaby, Chanel, Alex, Nina, Kirsten, Courtney, Klara and Katrina! Suntoy looks forward to you selling more solar lights to save the rhino. What would South Africa be with only the Big Four? Let's make sure it stays the Big Five!

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Posted by on in Education

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The ScopeX Telescope and Astronomy Exhibition invited us to escape the urban jungle while still in its midst. Our Suntoy stand was a palette of yellows with golden sunflowers and cadmium lemons inside Consol Solar JarsSolar powered SunCars zoomed by and SunFans spun.

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Amateur astronomers with portable telescopes observed a sunspot on the photosphere of the Sun. At sunset, Consol Solar Jars with red LEDs and a cloudless sky offered optimum viewing conditions for sky chart reading and stargazing. We observed the Moon and its rocky mantle of craters, Venus, the Southern Cross, the Jewel Box star cluster and the ringed planet, Saturn. The perfect way to end a sunny day.
 
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Interesting fact: Red light preserves night vision as it is the only light that doesn’t adjust the retina or contract the pupil of the eye. Our Consol Solar Jars are an astronomers best friend.
 
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Posted by on in Education
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Join us at the ScopeX Telescope and Astronomy ExhibitionWe're honouring the star at the centre of the Solar System, the Sun. Have fun learning about this hot plasma that gives us Earthlings solar energy.
 
Saturday, 20 July 2013
9h00 - 21h00
Star Party Lighting Ceremony at 18h00
National Museum of Military History
Erlswold Way, Saxonwald (adjacent to Johannesburg Zoo)
 
  • Visit our exhibition stand and assemble a SunFan or SunCar.
  • Check out our Solar Cooker.
  • Meet the Suntoy team.
  •  Consol Solar Jars with RED LEDs will set the scene for optimum telescopic vision of sky charts.

 

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be know. ~Carl Sagan

 

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Posted by on in Education

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Fourteen-year-old Katie Fitzgerald was introduced to the Consol Solar Jar (CSJ) by her dad. The solar powered light instantly intrigued her. At school, Katie was learning about the relationship between light, colour and the visible spectrum. She began to explore ideas for incorporating the CSJ into her project submission for the Grade 7 Science Expo Competition. Katie discovered what effect colour filters have on solar light.

Katie placed sheets of coloured cellophane - red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet - over the solar panels that are embedded in the lids of Consol Solar Jars. The cellophane acted as a colour filter. She placed the CSJs in the sun to charge for two hours. Katie then measured the burning time (in hours) of each light.

Results showed that different coloured filters had different effects on the burning time of a solar powered light. This is an interesting observation. Suntoy congratulates Katie on her findings. Check out Katie’s school project, The Effect of Colour Filters on Solar Panels, and download her presentation: The Effect of Colour Filters on Solar Panels.

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Posted by on in Education

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Sierra Salvione studied Graphic Design at Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago (Ai Chicago) and graduated in June of 2012. An assignment in her sustainable design class lead Sierra to research innovative eco-friendly products and she discovered the Consol Solar Jar while surfing the net. We emailed Sierra to find out more about her infographic poster showcasing our Consol Solar Jar.

“I chose the Consol Solar Jar because it’s practical and beautiful. The first thing that I remember coming across was the numerous design awards it had received in 2011. Once I saw the photos of the jar at work, I immediately started thinking of how many I would like in my backyard someday. I have a strong love for anything that lights up the night. These jars are a beautiful hybrid of vintage design meets modern technology. When designing the poster, I went with a vintage aesthetic and a technology infused layout. I feel absolutely honored to be featured on the Suntoy blog! I am thrilled that my poster design caught your attention in South Africa and that it led to this blog post. I am very grateful for this opportunity!”

Sunny congratulations for a design well done, Sierra!
Download a high resolution version of Sierra's poster in PDF format.

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Posted by on in Outreach

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Southern Africa's rhino are in grave peril. The total number of rhino poached and killed in South Africa in 2012 was 618, up from 448 in 2011. At this alarming rate, by 2025 there will be no rhino left on earth. Crime syndicates are fearless. The rhino horns are ground into powder for traditional medicines in East Asia. Experts say this powder actually has no medicinal purpose though that has not stopped the demand. Rhino horns are made of keratin, the same substance that comprises human hair and fingernails. $65,000 a kilo...! 

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Suntoy is collaborating with specialist anti-poaching units and field ranger patrols. Rhino Solar Tracking Collars are in development. GPS tracking collars monitor position, speed and behavior over preset intervals. When battery power on these devises is depleted, the radio antennae stop sending information on the location of the rhino and poachers pounce. Charging these GPS tracking devices from solar energy prevents loss of battery power. Malleable solar panels have been sewn into leather collars. Prototypes are currently being tested on one rhino and two cows.
 

 

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Tagged in: Rhino solar Suntoy
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Posted by on in Education
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Brothers, 15-year-old Christopher and 11-year-old Tristan, were inspired by the Consol Solar Jar to start their own small business. They are spreading sunshine across South Africa! Chris emailed us:
 
Dear Suntoy,
 
Three months ago, my dad and I discovered the Consol Solar Jar. My brother, Tristan, and me came up with the idea to start a business selling these solar lights. We bought 24 jars and we sold them to people in our neighborhood of Camps Bay. We realized that this is a unique product that sells well.
 
Over the holidays, we visited Hermanus. We sold 100 solar jars to restaurants. Creation Wine Estate invited me to a night market to sell the solar jars. I sold 50 in three hours!
 We then bought another 100 and sold them to buyers in Cape Town.
 
Tristan and I visited our Grannie in Durban. The Book Boutique bought all our remaining jars. I hope to continue selling more jars in KwaZulu Natal because it is an untapped market.
 We believe in the Consol Solar Jars with great passion and think they have great potential.
 
Thanks for publishing my story.
Regards,
Christopher
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Posted by on in Education

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Sindile is a student of Mr Sunshine's solar energy workshops in Alexandria. Her interest in renewable energy began at a young age growing up in rural Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal.

Sindile remembers studying by candle light as there was no electricity in the area. Her dad bought a solar panel and charger to power their TV, lights and mobile phone. They would place the solar panel on their roof during the day and remove it at sunset to prevent it from being stolen. They offered their neighbours a mobile phone charging service for a small fee and so began a lucrative idea for gaining income.

In recent years, the government installed electrical lines and her family sold their solar panel and charger. Along with the excitement of electricity came electrical bills. When Sindile moved to the city and heard of Mr Sunshine's classes, she jumped at the chance to learn how to make the solar charging station herself. Sinhdile hopes to show her family that, although they can use electricity for the majority of their appliances, they can lower their electrical bill with solar energy in their homes.

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Posted by on in Education

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Mr Sunshine, aka Harald Schulz, facilitates a series of solar workshops in Alexandria. This Suntoy outreach program introduces young adults to renewable energy.

At the workshops, sponsored by Mama Earth, Harald teaches the basics of Photovoltaic (PV) applications (generating electrical power by converting solar radiation into direct current electricity using semi-conductors). The aim is for each participant to increase skills, pass on their knowledge to their community and start his/her own entrepreneurial small business using solar energy products. Classroom learnings became reality as participants powered a TV, stereo and light from solar energy.

Charles, director of Sakha Isizwe, is a participant, "Harald is understandable and has made me aware of the power of the sun. I now know what to look for in solar products. I'd mark him ten out of ten!"

For further information and to invite Mr Sunshine to facilitate a series of custom designed workshops at your organization, school or company, please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Posted by on in Education

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Suntoy encourages curiosity-driven play and adventurous learning with solar energy. The Military Museum in Johannesburg was the venue for the ScopeX Telescope and Astronomy Exhibition. An interesting play space for young (and young-at-heart) wannabe scientists and astronomers.

On a sunny Jozi winter's day, learners sat on the grass focused on our bright yellow solar PV panels. Excitement erupted as SunFans spun and SunCars zoomed off. Fun in the African sun!

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