Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Day At the Races ~ Solar Style

As Henry Ford once said: "Auto racing began 5 minutes after the second car was built."

Yes...the illustrious Mr. Ford knew a "little bit" about cars and human nature.  Most likely, he probably could have predicted 100+ years into the future, to know a little bit about how jazzed up the students of Eagle Cove School would be when faced with a bit of auto racing!  What he might not have known about was the "clean" power of solar energy.  But now, after our continuing Earth Week adventures, Eagle Cove School [ECS] students could probably teach Mr. Ford a thing or two about that!

With a little help from Solar Energy World, ECS got an inside look at how solar power works.  Complete with a informational assembly, ECS students got a chance to clean energy and how solar power works.  We got to see graphics, witness the sun in action through an experiment, handle a 6-cell solar panel, and ask a lot of questions.  A few nuggets of wisdom we all learned: 
  • Typically, there are 60 or 72 photovoltaic cells per panel to capture the sunlight's photons.
  • 24 hours of energy can be stored in a 4-6 hour timespan.
  • There are 500--600 solar panels in the state of Maryland.
  • Solar panels are constructed of the same glass of tempered windshield glass.  (In fact, they have been known to take, without damage, a golf ball at 52 miles an hour.)
  • Germany is a leader as a Solar Capital of the World--despite the fact that they get less sun than we do in the USA.
  •  Tree damage is an infrequent problem, as solar panels are often placed no where near trees due to the shade that trees provide (which counters the whole point!)
After all the questions had been asked and answers, we all headed out, with new sunglasses thanks to Solar Energy World, and set up around the perimeter of the basketball court.  Here's what we all were waiting for!! 

A week prior, Solar Energy World had outfitted ECS with 6 solar car kits, which the 5th grader class graciously built for each class.  Homerooms then worked as a team to name their vehicle and decorate the chassis.  Final assembly was done, and all we needed to do was wait for our assembly day, and hope for sun. 
The day of the race:  the sun and clouds conveniently cooperated!  On your marks, get set, go!!  Welcome to the world of the Solar Car Races!!

The crowd, no doubt, went wild!  Each car was allotted a "handler" to redirect the class car if necessary (and curve, they did!)  As Kaitlyn Carr wrote in her final line of her article in the "Pasadena Patch:"  "In a shocking upset, the pre-K/kindergarten car won and earned a class pizza party from Solar Energy World."
For other articles and pics of our day at the races, check out The Capital and Chesapeake Family.
Pics from my camera!!

No comments :

Post a Comment