Middle School Students Learn Energy Fundamentals

This summer, twenty local middle school students met at the Mt. San Jacinto College Solar/Wind/Manufacturing classroom and laboratory for a two-week workshop on solar and wind energy fundamentals. This was an exciting collaboration between MSJC, Hemet Unified School District and Riverside Office of Education that was made possible through MSJC’s SB70 Grant.

During the first week, students learned about wind energy, physics and electricity by building three different windmills that lifted weight and produced electricity. The second week focused on solar thermal and photovoltaic energy. Students learned how solar cells produce electricity and how it can be stored. They then designed and produced three different solar ovens that cooked hot dogs, warmed buns and roasted marshmallows for s’mores on the last day. They washed it down with water that was kept cold in a refrigerator powered by a solar panel.

Throughout the two weeks, there was a lot of information and discussions regarding climate change. Hopefully, seeds were planted in these young minds for additional studies regarding sustainable energy. The instructor, David Hunt, will be implementing a new program at Hemet High School in the fall about sustainable energy and will be articulating with MSJC ENGR 117, 118 and SEMA 100.

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Middle school students design solar ovens.