Students in Mr. Broom’s Ag Concepts class and Mr. Hall’s Physical Science class learned about solar voltaic cell technology thanks to a former PHS student. Todd Jackson, a 1999 graduate of PHS, is an engineer at Stion, a Hattiesburg company that manufactures solar cells. Mr. Jackson has worked throughout the United States with General Electric and now Stion. Mr. Jackson addressed the classes about the benefits of solar cells and the processes used to manufacture solar cells.
The Stion plant in Hattiesburg is part of a national corporation that manufactures a new generation of solar voltaic cell that is both, less expensive to manufacture and more efficient. With the efficiency and reduced expense of manufacturing, solar voltaic cells have become a viable option for Americans to reduce their utility bills. Mr. Jackson estimated that it would require 10 years to pay off the investment of purchasing the product.
In addition, Mr. Jackson talked about engineering jobs available at the Hattiesburg plant and suggested students consider the two year associates degree in electronics from PRCC. Mr. Jackson also extoled the value of a 4 year degree in electrical engineering from Mississippi State, his Alma mater, acknowledging that there are many other institutes of higher education that prepare students for interesting and well-paying jobs. In departing, Mr. Jackson extended an invitation to the classes of Poplarville High to visit the Stion factory and learn more about engineering and solar cells.