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Sustainability Ambassadors


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Social Studies, Economics

Resource Type

  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, Washington



Solar Company Founder

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  • This resource is a four-page informational article about the green career path of a solar company founder, with a spotlight on Edwin Wanji, the founder of Sphere Solar Energy in Seattle, Washington.
  • Students will learn the average salary, projects abroad, necessary education, and required skills for a solar company founder.
Teaching Tips


  • Edwin Wanji is a Kenyan immigrant, which could make his story particularly engaging and inspiring for immigrant students.
  • He assesses this career path honestly and identifies the pros and cons while demonstrating his passion for his work.

Additional Prerequisites

  • If students are unfamiliar with solar energy and solar panels, teachers should provide a brief explanation.
  • Students should know the difference between soft skills and technical skills.


  • The resource highlights inequities in solar energy access for communities of color and people in remote and rural locations. Students can brainstorm ways to address these issues of inequity and research other organizations and initiatives working towards equitable solar energy access.
  • Students can discuss the soft skills identified in the resources and brainstorm ways to develop these skills.
  • Edwin Wanji describes his experience growing up without reliable energy and how this has motivated him. Students can journal about their experiences that have been inspiring for them.
  • Social studies or economics courses can explore entrepreneurship, using this story as a case study.
Scientist Notes
This resource from Sustainability Ambassadors introduces students to Edwin Wanji, founder of a solar energy company. Students will read a solid introduction to being a solar entrepreneur through Edwin’s words, which are organized and often in bulleted lists. Edwin focuses on inclusion and equity in access to solar, highlighting projects in Kenya and Haiti. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.5.9-12 Evaluate citizens' and institutions' effectiveness in addressing social and political problems at the local, state, tribal, national, and/or international level.
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.13.9-12 Explain why advancements in technology and investments in capital goods and human capital increase economic growth and standards of living.
      • D2.Eco.3.9-12 Analyze the ways in which incentives influence what is produced and distributed in a market system.
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.7.6-8 Assess their individual and collective capacities to take action to address local, regional, and global problems, taking into account a range of possible levers of power, strategies, and potential outcomes.
      • D4.7.9-12 Assess options for individual and collective action to address local, regional, and global problems by engaging in self-reflection, strategy identification, and complex causal reasoning.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.7.2 Determine two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
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    • Interesting article! It's important for students to learn about this growing industry! 👍👍👍
      1 month ago