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The sun’s energy fires up even the youngest learners during Children’s Cabinet field trip

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At Black Rock Solar we believe it’s never too early to start teaching kids about clean energy, and the 4-, 5-, 6- and 7-year-olds from Ginny’s Child Garden who joined us last week to learn about solar power at the Children’s Cabinet proved us right.

These kids came prepared.

When asked what they knew about the sun, they didn’t miss a beat: “It’s a star.” “It’s hot.” “It’s gassy.” “It’s bigger than the moon.” “It makes plants grow.” “It’s a ball of fire!”

Wow! Now we just needed to show them how that ball of fire nearly 93,000,000 miles away can be used to make energy on Earth. Black Rock Solar Education Program Manager Catherine Leon led the kids on a journey of solar power discovery:

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First, the children compared the temperature of water in the shade and water in the sunshine. The sun heats things up!

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Then the kids played Electrons Go! Some kids were rays of sunlight, some were electrons, some were silicon and some were lamps. Working together they created a running, jumping, enthusiastic electrical circuit.

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Time to refuel with Sun Chips. Did you know two Sun Chips facilities in Arizona and California are powered with solar panels?

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This unexpected visitor from NVEnergy added a perfect opportunity to talk about what the meter reader does and how we pay for electricity. Perfect segue to talk about the different ways we make electricity!

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The children assembled their own electric circuits using solar panels. When the circuit was complete, their water pumps got pumping.

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It isn’t hard to figure out the problem with coal: It’s dirty! Did their hands get dirty when they made electricity with solar panels? NO!

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Nothing dirty about touching this gorgeous 30kW photovoltaic array that Black Rock Solar installed at the Children’s Cabinet in March 2011.

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And it’s clean underneath, too!

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Here’s to hoping that this is just the first of many clean energy technologies these kids experience in their lifetimes!

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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