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Solar Energy Promotes Sustainability

May 30, 2024

Da Vinci Science Center at PPL Pavilion’s galleries invite visitors to think about the careers that inform the exhibits in the state-of-the-art facility, illustrating STEAM in Action, throughout the state-of-the-art facility.

The Science Center has career kiosks in the Lehigh Valley Health Network My Body, Science in the Making, and Lehigh River galleries where visitors can take a quiz to determine their “type” and discover jobs that align with that type. These “types” are based on the RIASEC (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, Conventional) model.

In the Science in the Making gallery, which explores the science of matter, energy, light, and sound through local industries, visitors learn about solar energy.  Presented by PPL and supported by the All Points North Foundation, the Solar Energy interactive neighborhood promises to ignite curiosity and experimentation, capturing the spirit of Leonardo Da Vinci. 

Visitors use one of five small mirrors mounted on gimbals to redirect light from overhead spotlights towards small solar panels on the rooftops of buildings. When light hits the solar panels, they activate LEDs, giving the impression of illuminated windows in the homes attached to the solar panels.  

Allentown continues to shift toward renewable energy, and the demand for skilled professionals in the solar power industry continues to grow.  The energy exhibit includes information about careers such as technical sales engineer, lighting technician, line worker, and transmission system operator encourage further exploration. The career kiosk provides a description and career path information about Electric Line Workers hired locally by PPL Electric Utilities.

Another career associated with this display is a Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Installer. Solar PV Installers assemble, install, and maintain solar panel systems on rooftops and other structures. Their work begins with evaluating the installation site, ensuring that the placement of panels will maximize sunlight exposure and energy production. They then install the panels, wiring, and other components, ensuring the system is properly connected to the electrical grid. Once installation is complete, these technicians often perform maintenance and troubleshooting to keep the systems operating efficiently.

A career as a Solar PV Installer typically requires a high school diploma or equivalent, with additional technical training preferred. Many installers gain experience through apprenticeships or training programs offered by community colleges and technical schools. The job outlook for Solar PV Installers is exceptionally bright, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting much faster-than-average growth in this occupation. This growth is driven by increasing demand for solar energy systems, particularly in regions like Allentown that are investing in sustainable energy infrastructure. Visit the Da Vinci Science Center at PPL Pavilion to learn more about energy, the environment, and science-based career opportunities in the Lehigh Valley. 

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