Claire’s story starts in 2015, when a bond measure was passed in her hometown of Bozeman, MT to renovate Sacajawea Middle School (SMS), where she was a student. Midway through her 7th grade year, she realized that there would never be an easier time to add solar panels to her school, and her project, Solar Makes Sense (also SMS), was born.

Though there were setbacks and many obstacles to overcome, Claire persisted. She enlisted the help of her classmates and friends, and ultimately they were able to raise enough money to put panels not just on her school, but on another school in Bozeman as well.

Claire tells her story in this short video, including how she came up with the idea, how they raised the money, and how the project has benefited the school and the community. The principal of SMS, Gordon Grissom, also talks about how Claire’s perseverance and hard work made such a difference in making her big dream a reality.

Claire was a 2018 Barron Prize winner.

Discussion Questions

Color PDF | B & W PDF

IYH Behind the Scenes

We filmed Claire’s story in beautiful Bozeman, MT. And yes, we really did climb to the roof of her middle school!