Educating the Next Generation

solar cells at school

A distant view of the solar array at Naklo Secondary School Biotechnical Center

I woke up to another sunny day and decided to take another ride around Lake Bled with John – it’s hard to think of a better way to start the day. Back at the hostel, I had a light breakfast of coffee, a cheese sandwich and corn flakes.  And after pumping up our tires and slapping on some sun screen, we hit the road to Strahiji, home of Naklo Secondary School Biotechnical Center.

We rode about 25 km along some great roads and trails, some gravel and dirt. We had a couple of steep climbs, but as the week as progressed, those have become easier!

We were greeted at the center by Monica Rant, the school’s vice principal, along with several of her colleagues and students. The two-year-old, 700 -student school attracts high school age students with its curriculum that focuses on nature, sustainable development and preparing students for work.  Programs include horticulture, agriculture, nature conservation, food-processing and housekeeping, and its students are completely engaged in no carbon education efforts.

Naklo even has its own solar collectors. It has several buildings

A display at the school shows how the solar array works.

outfitted with collectors that power the school. In the building, a monitor displays power usage in real time at the school – just another example of how Slovenia is moving ahead on solar power.

The naturally lit buildings lacked air conditioning, yet still stayed cool on this 80 degree plus day. The teachers were enthused and so were the students! Each spoke English and are learning at least one other language.

I am not sure if a similar high school experience exists in Iowa, but it should.

on the road to skofja loka

On the road to Skofja Loka

After our visit, we headed 25km to Skofja Loka. Our ride took us through some agricultural areas where potatoes, wheat, oats, and corn thrived in village gardens.

Tonight we will head to the town square for dinner.

Tomorrow we will be be our most challenging bike trip as we will pass along the edge of the Julian Alps to Most na Soci. We will take the road from ZeleznikiPodbrdo, as we will battle up less elevation, 830 m, on a less crowded pass than if we were to take the main road.

As always, you can hear even more news from the tour on David Osterberg’s blog for the Des Moines Register.


About cgrer

The Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research - a state-funded environmental institute at the University of Iowa.
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