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Pupils conducting Live Research at Pfaffenweiler Solar Park

An education collaboration between a high school from southern Germany, and BayWa r.e.

In November 2023, three 12th Grade pupils from a high school from southern Germany visited our Spitalhöfe solar park in Pfaffenweiler. The visit began a year-long project where they’ll explore the biodiversity beneath the site’s PV modules. Their key question: are these areas biodiverse enough to be used for conservation?

Students during their visit at Pfaffenweiler solar park

What’s happening at Pfaffenweiler?

The Montessori teaching method emphasises the idea that children construct their sense of self by interacting with their environment. Lessons are fluid, giving students the freedom to pursue their own interests and learn from developing real-world skills.

Participants in this project, aged 16-18, came together as one group from various different electives. They developed their own questions, effectively setting their own assignments within two loose topic frameworks; urban gardening and PV technology - investigation of our solar park.

To kick off the event, our colleague Dr. Nora Adam, BayWa r.e. R&D Ecological Engineer, gave an inspiring presentation on the multiple benefits of renewables for biodiversity. This was followed by Martin Dennenmoser, BayWa r.e. Team Leader R&D Engineering, who spoke about the technical aspects of solar technology and battery storage systems. 

The highlight of the visit was a guided tour of our Pfaffenweiler solar park by our colleague Markus Wanckel, BayWa r.e. Project Manager. As well as getting help exploring each topic in depth, students also received an explanation of what has to happen before a park is created - the balancing of interests and nature, as well as a detailed safety briefing and equipment. Able to explore safely and confidently, they embarked on a voyage of discovery and witnessed firsthand the workings of a real-life solar farm. 


I thoroughly enjoyed observing the development of the group of students over the course of the year. I was deeply impressed by their independent and scientific way of working. Due to the excellent support from BayWa r.e., I had the impression that the group of students always had a contact person, but at the same time, they had enough freedom to develop their own ideas.

Moritz Springer, teacher, Montessori High School

Now is the time to start nurturing the skills young people will need in the years and decades to come. It is key to increasing awareness about how renewable energy can make a vital contribution to improving biodiversity.

Nora Adam, R&D Ecological Engineer • R&D Engineering, BayWa r.e.

Project timeline

  • Project kickoff meeting between BayWa r.e. and Montessori high school;
  • Technical presentation from our engineers;
  • First day-long site visit and Q&A with solar power experts;
  • Regular meetings to mentoring the students;
  • Delivery of the students' final presentation.
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