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Solar trailer brings enLIGHTenment to students

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Black Rock Solar has been busy this month spreading the good news about solar energy to local students.

On Sept. 11 about 100 S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, math) Lab students from Sparks Middle School participated in Black Rock Solar’s first-ever Solar Trailer School Visit.

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Sparks Middle School students look at the four large batteries on the 940 watt solar trailer. Solar works even on cloudy days!

Seventh graders discovered the clean, quiet beauty of solar energy with our dynamic team including Education Program Manager Catherine Leon, Energy Efficiency and Solar Thermal Manager Anthony Jacks, and Education and Policy Assistant Diana Dorman.

Together with STEM Lab teacher Kristie Parker, BRS explained about electrical circuits and measurements, photovoltaic panels and fossil fuels.

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Students act as a circuit. “Electrons” from the solar panel are knocked loose by the sun and pass through them to create electricity.

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Students work in teams to discover the volts, amps, and total wattage produced by three small solar modules. As scientists in the making, they note how the angle of the solar modules can make a difference in the electricity produced.

Black Rock Solar also visited Great Basin Outdoor School at Lake Tahoe on Sept. 19.  Nearly 50 fourth, fifth, and sixth graders from High Desert Montessori had a blast as they played educational games, worked with solar kits, and drank solar strawberry smoothies.

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Diana Dorman whips up strawberry smoothies with solar-powered blenders.

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The shores of Lake Tahoe at Camp Galilee provide the perfect spot to sip smoothies, check out how solar panels work, and power water pumps with mini solar panels.

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Strawberry smoothies made with our solar-powered blender are a fun, healthy, and yummy way to make an abstract idea more concrete (or liquid in this case). Looks like it’s working for this guy!

If you have a group interested in organizing a field trip or program to learn more about solar, contact Catherine Leon at 775-BE-SUNNY or catherine@blackrocksolar.org.

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